Impact Evaluation Conference: “Mind the Gap”: From Evidence to Impact

Date: June 15-17 2011
Venue: Cuernavaca, Mexico

Each year billions of dollars are spent on tackling global poverty. Development programs and policies are designed to build sustainable livelihoods and improve lives. But is there real evidence to show which programs work and why? Are government and donor policies based on concrete and credible evidence?

The Mind the Gap conference on impact evaluation will address these questions and offer possible solutions. With a focus on Latin American Countries the conference will take place in Cuernavaca, Mexico, June 15-17, 2011. Co-hosted by The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Center for Labor and Social Distributive Studies in coordination with the Impact Evaluation Network and the Poverty and Economic Policy Network (CEDLAS-IEN-PEP).

This conference will provide a platform to share and discuss experiences on how to best achieve evidence-based policy in sectors that are highly relevant for Latin America. To this end, the conference will mainstream a policy-focus into all its activities. The plenary sessions will address the challenges and progress made in building evidence into policy-making processes. The sector-focused sessions will be asked to address the engagement of stakeholders and policy-makers in the various studies presented. The conference will be preceded by a range of pre-conference clinics tailored to the interests and needs of both researchers and program managers.

The conference will accommodate only 400 attendees. The official languages of the Conference are Spanish and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided for all conference sessions.Please register early to secure your attendance. Registration will open March 1st. 2011. Early bird rates will be offered.

Check the conference website often for up to date conference information.

Bursaries are being made available to developing country participants with a proven interest in impact evaluation.

Bursary applications will open March 1st giving preference to authors of accepted abstracts.

US Office of Management and Budget: Increased emphasis on Program Evaluations

Via Xceval: No exactly breaking news (11 months later), but still likely to be of wide interest:

October 7, 2009
FROM: Peter R. Orszag
SUBJECT: Increased Emphasis on Program Evaluations

Rigorous, independent program evaluations can be a key resource in determining whether government programs are achieving their intended outcomes as well as possible and at the lowest possible cost. Evaluations can help policymakers and agency managers strengthen the design and operation of programs. Ultimately, evaluations can help the Administration determine how to spend taxpayer dollars effectively and efficiently — investing more in what works and less in what does not.
Although the Federal government has long invested in evaluations, many important programs have never been formally evaluated — and the evaluations that have been done have not sufficiently shaped Federal budget priorities or agency management practices. Many agencies lack an office of evaluation with the stature and staffing to support an ambitious, strategic, and relevant research agenda. As a consequence, some programs have persisted year after year without adequate evidence that they work. In some cases, evaluation dollars have flowed into studies of insufficient rigor or policy significance. And Federal programs have rarely evaluated multiple approaches to the same problem with the goal of identifying which ones are most effective.

To address these issues and strengthen program evaluation, OMB will launch the following government-wide efforts as part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget process: ….(read the full text in this pdf)

“Impact 2.0: Collaborative technologies connecting research and policy”

“Impact 2.0: Collaborative technologies connecting research and policy” is a two-year research project that seeks to develop a body of knowledge about the use of Web 2.0 in policy-oriented research and design in Latin America and to identify, document and promote good practices and emerging opportunities related to the use of collaborative technologies for linking research to policy.

In order to achieve this goal Impact 2.0 has two components. The first involves three pilot projects that seek to combine to combine current theory on the relationship between research, policy and advocacy with advances in Web 2.0/Social networking technologies and practices. The second is a fund to support research into the use of Web 2.0 tools and behaviours to link research and policy.

The research fund will consider two types of proposals: Type 1 projects will involve both implementing a specific intervention using Web 2.0 to link policy and analyzing, documentating and evaluating the intervention while Type 2 projects will document and evaluate one or more current or recent projects making use of Web 2.0 to link policy and research. A maximum of US$15,000 is available for Type 1 projects and US$7,500 for Type 2.

Independent researchers and organisations (universities, government agencies, NGOs, research centres) are invited to apply. Applicants must reside in Latin America and the projects to be performed and analyzed must also be located in and relevant to the region.

Full details are available in the attached CFPs or in Spanish at and in English at

Impacto 2.0 is a project of Fundaci�n Comunica, with the financial support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the participation of APC, DIRSI, PRODIC of the University of the Republic of Uruguay and CIESPAL.

| Bruce Girard | |
| tel: +598 2 410.2979 | mobile: +598 99 189.652 |
| Dr. Pablo de Mar�a 1036 | Montevideo, Uruguay |

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

Monitoring government policies A toolkit for civil society organisations in Africa

(identified via Source)

The toolkit was produced by AFOD, Christian Aid, Trocaire

This project was started by the three agencies with a view to supporting partner
organisations, particularly church-based organisations, to hold their governments to
account for the consequences of their policies. This toolkit specifically targets African

partners, seeking to share the struggles and successes of partners already monitoring

government policies with those that are new to this work.
The development of this toolkit has been an in-depth process. Two consultants were
commissioned to research and write the toolkit. They were supported by a reference group
composed of staff from CAFOD, Christian Aid and Trócaire and partner organisations with
experience in policy monitoring. The draft toolkit was piloted with partners in workshops
in Malawi, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. Comments from the reference group and the
workshops contributed to this final version of the toolkit.


1.1  Core concepts in policy monitoring 5
1.2  Identifying problems, causes and solutions 8
1.3  Beginning to develop a monitoring approach 10
Interaction  13
2.1  Different kinds of policies 15
2.2  Which policies to monitor 18
2.3  Access to policy information  22
2.4  Collecting policy documents 24
Interaction   27
3.1  Stakeholders of government policies 29
3.2  Target audiences and partners  31
3.3  Monitoring by a network of stakeholders 34
Interaction  37
4.1  Analysing the content of a policy 39
4.2  Defining your monitoring objectives 42
4.3  What kind of evidence do you need? 44
4.4 Choosing indicators 47
4.5  Establishing a baseline 50
Interaction  52
5.1  Budget basics  55
5.2  Resources for policy implementation 59
5.3 Budget analysis 61
5.4 Interaction  67

6.1 Interviews  69
6.2 Surveys 72
6.3  Analysing survey data and other coded information 77
6.4  Workshops, focus group discussions and observation 84
Interaction  89
Interaction  98

Networks and policy processes in international development: a literature review

Publisher: Overseas Development Institute, London, 2005

Authors: E. Perkin; J. Court Making networks work in international development and influencing policy

When, why and how do networks function best for policy impact in international development? The objective of this paper is to review and synthesise existing literature in an effort to answer these questions. The authors take policy processes as the starting point instead of focusing on types of networks themselves.

The three main objectives of the paper are to:

  • outline why networks work
  • identify how networks can influence policy, focusing on their impact on four key components of policy processes: agenda setting; policy formulation; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation
  • identify lessons for capacity building, communications and policy influence activities and areas for further study

Continue reading “Networks and policy processes in international development: a literature review”