Impact Evaluation: Challenges for Decision-making, Accountability and Quality
A Workshop facilitated by IDEAS in Partnership with
the 3rd MES International Evaluation Conference
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 31 March 2008 to 4 April 2008
Impact Evaluation has recently received considerable interest, sparked mainly by the Center for Global Development’s initiative in looking at the quality of impact evaluation. One of the outcomes of that initiative was a report summarizing impact evaluation as follows:
‘To achieve real improvements in health, education, and welfare in the developing world, social programs have to work. For decades, development agencies have disbursed billions of dollars for programs aimed at improving living conditions and reducing poverty; developing countries themselves have spent hundreds of billions more. Yet the shocking fact is that we have relatively little knowledge about the net impact of most of these programs. In the absence of good evidence about what works, political influences dominate, and decisions about the level and type of spending are hard to challenge. Without question, the results are suboptimal. But if evidence about what works were systematically developed and made public, that information could be used for better public policymaking and thus for more effective international aid and domestic spending.’
In this context, IDEAS decided to facilitate a workshop on impact evaluation.
The purpose of the Workshop was to generate knowledge about impact evaluation. More specifically, the Workshop aimed to:
1. Generate knowledge on the relation between impact evaluation and development effectiveness, including lessons learned;
2. Develop a common understanding of the concept of impact evaluation;
3. Stimulate thinking about impact evaluation good practices/methods that will contribute to developing IDEAS’ corporate position on the same, to be discussed/adopted at the Biannual Conference; and
4. Develop the impact evaluation capacity of professional development evaluators.