Reducing World Poverty by Improving Evaluation of Development Aid

Paul Clements, Western Michigan University,, Thomaz Chianca, Western Michigan University, Ryoh Sasaki, Western Michigan University

American Journal of Evaluation, Vol. 29, No. 2, 195-214 (2008)

Abstract: This article argues that given its structural conditions, development aid bears a particularly heavy burden of learning and accountability. Unfortunately, however, the organization of evaluation guarantees that evaluations will be inconsistent and it creates incentives for positive bias. This article presents evidence from organizational studies of aid agencies, from the public choice literature, from eight development projects in Africa, and from one in India, that demonstrates positive bias and inconsistency in monitoring and evaluation. It proposes that the evaluation function should be professionalized through an approach titled “monitoring and evaluation for cost effectiveness,” and it compares this approach to the World Bank’s results-based monitoring and evaluation, the Development Assistance Committee’s five evaluation criteria, and evaluations based on randomized trials. This article explains the analytics of the proposed approach and suggests directions for further research.

Public consultation on DFID’s new performance frameworks with UNDP, UNFPA and UNAIDS

Inn the Consultation section of the DFID website information is now available on three proposed performance frameworks for the UNDP, UNFPA and UNAIDS

Each section provides the following information:

  • The DFID/UN… Institutional Strategy
  • Further details and background information
  • A list of questions
  • An email address to send comments to
  • A deadline date for submission of comments

It is not clear what will happen to the comments. Another section, on the Bangladesh Country Plan, refers to “a consolidated reply addressing the key issues raised will be sent to all respondents after the consultation has closed.” The same could be requested for each of the above consultations

Outcome-Based Conditionality: Too Good To Be True?

Author: Nuria Molina. Date: 2008. Size: 42 pages

“Does linking aid disbursement to a results agenda (outcome-based conditionality) actually build recipient ownership and development effectiveness? This report for the European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD) analyses the different interpretations of outcome-based aid delivery adopted by the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC). It examines EC experience in piloting the approach in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania. Outcome-based conditionality is a strategic step towards giving recipients ownership of their own development. However, experience is limited and it is hard to tell if there has been any real impact on poverty reduction.”

(From the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre Email Bulletin, Issue No 59, 16th July 2008)

Advancing the Standards, Practice, and Use of Evaluation

Evaluation News, Operations Evaluation Department, Asian Development Bank, 7 May 2008

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – On 21–24 April 2008, the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) met in Tunis. Its
working groups discussed the standards, practice, and use of evaluation vis-vis the private sector, country strategies and programs, technical assistance, and the public sector. They examined rating scales and criteria, the framework for the review of evaluation functions, and communications. A plenary session deliberated these and a workshop looked at public-private partnerships.

The ECG … includes the African Development Bank, ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Fund Monetary , and the World Bank Group. The United Nations Evaluation Group and the Development Assistance Committee Working Group on Evaluation became permanent observer members in 2001 and were joined at the meet by three new observers and prospective members: they are the Council of Europe Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Islamic Development Bank.

Making Smart Policy: Using Impact Evaluation for Policy Making

Date: January 15 and 16, 2008
Venue: Washington, DC, USA

January 15 and 16, 2008, Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, Washington, DC

The Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), and the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) of the World Bank are pleased to announce a conference “Making Smart Policy: Using Impact Evaluation for Policy Making.

The one-and-a-half-day conference will bring together policy makers and staff from development agencies (see Speaker Bios) to explore how to design and use impact evaluation for increased policy impact and how to generate greater demand for impact evaluations.


The Role of Impact Evaluations in Assessing Development Effectiveness

The Role of Impact Evaluations in Development Agencies

Evidence and Use: Parallel Sector Sessions

Reporting Back from Sector Sessions

Role of Impact Evaluation in National Policy

Impact Evaluation Initiatives at the World Bank

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