Oct 9, 2011

Impact Evaluation (RCT)

Here is one suggestion for strengthening incentives for using knowledge in the practice of development: as a matter of principle, no project or policy proposal should be funded that does not have a recent Ex-ante Survey of Knowledge on Impact (ESKI)—an objective and thorough assessment of prevailing knowledge with bearing on the case for and against the intervention in its setting, based on past research, impact evaluations and experience.  This paper can be thought of as the principle input to the ex ante appraisal—explaining the rationale for the intervention, based on what we know, and identifying plausible ranges for the key parameters relevant to a successful project. It should draw on theory and evidence to understand the development problem or obstacle that the intervention targets. What is the market or governmental failure it addresses and how do we know that doing so will make things better overall? What are the implications for equity? The best World Bank lending operations already include something like an ESKI. The challenge is to raise standards and bring the idea to all operations, and not just the Bank’s.
Source HT: Chris Blattman

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