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Each year billions of dollars are spent on development programs with relatively few rigorous studies of whether they actually work. In 2004, CGD set out to address this lack of good quality impact evaluations and our recommendations led to the creation of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) in 2009. The number and quality of impact evaluations has risen significantly, but there is still a long way to go to make sure future development interventions are based on evidence of what works.
The authors examine the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), an experimental and intensive package intervention to spark sustained local economic development in rural Africa, to illustrate the benefits of rigorous impact evaluation. Estimates of the project’s effects depend heavily on the evaluation method.
Nancy Birdsall gave the closing remarks at the 2004 Conference of the World Bank's Operations and Evaluations Department. The conference focused on the effectiveness of the Bank's policies and reforms. Birdsall discussed her views on reforming donor activities in order to improve foreign aid to poor countries.
In December CGD announced that Howard White had been selected as the first director of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation or 3IE ("Triple I E"). The announcement, a milestone in the creation of a new international entity independent from CGD, came just 20 months after the release of a CGD working group report that offered recommendations on how to close the "evaluation gap"--that is, dramatically increase the number of rigorous impact evaluations in areas such as health and education. White, who is currently based in Cairo, has set an ambitious agenda for getting the 3IE up and running.
The sudden death of World Health Organization director general Lee Jong-wook at the start of the World Health Assembly has created a leadership vacuum at a time when the WHO faces immense challenges. Ruth Levine, who heads CGD's Global Health Policy Research Network, argues that the WHO leadership must become more independent so that science can shape public health policies and practice.
CGD program director Ruth Levine argues that independent impact evaluation of anti-corruption programs will be crucial to the success of the new World Bank campaign against corruption. As corruption-fighting programs are put into place, she writes, donor and recipient countries should request and fund careful, credible and independent third party evaluations—then publish the results whether or not they make the funders and implementers look good. Learn More
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has announced that Emmanuel (Manny) Jimenez will be the organization’s new Executive Director starting in early 2015. The selection of Jimenez represents a key transition for 3ie, which has moved quickly from start-up to maturity in just six years.