Impact Evaluation Databases: Can You Find What You’re Looking For?

April 16, 2013

This is a joint post with Ted Collins.

In last month’s Evaluation Gap Update, we were going to refer to a particular impact evaluation database when we stopped to ask just how many such databases there might be. So Ted investigated and promptly developed a list of 14 evaluation databases that can be found below.

Such databases are not the only—or necessarily the best—source for impact evaluations. People also find impact evaluations by using general internet searches, literature reviews, and specialized journals. Still, the idea of a searchable repository for impact evaluations is compelling.  Impact evaluations are a classic public good, providing information that is valuable to anyone engaged in policymaking or program development. But for evaluations to serve this function, people have to be able to find them easily and when they need them. Searchable databases can facilitate this … but do they? And can they do a better job of it?

As a first step to answering these questions, we plan to collect and maintain a list of impact evaluation databases. We are looking specifically for databases that include studies that attribute impact to particular programs, interventions or policies and whose findings are relevant to low- and middle-income countries.

We invite you to join this crowdsource effort by submitting information about any databases we have left out or corrections for the ones we’ve included. The list will be kept updated and available here.

To add a database, click here.

To correct one of the databases in our list, click here.

Download the list (PDF). Preview below.

Updated November 2013


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.