When Will We Ever Learn ? Recommendations to Improve Social Development Assistance through Enhanced Impact Evaluation (2005)

Author : William D. Savedoff , Ruth Levine et Nancy Birdsall

Organisation : Center for Global Development

publication date : 2005

Language : English

Number of page : 69

Format : pdf

Yet after five decades of development programs, in which international agencies and NGO have disbursed billions of dollars, it is still not clear how this development assistance should be spent. While the goals may be clear ? improving health, increasing educational attainment, reducing poverty ? the documented record of specific social interventions that succeed is relatively sparse. Developing countries that choose to face the challenges of social development lack strong evidence to guide their social policies and budget allocations. Despite applying resources to design social development projects, monitor their implementation and measure their outputs, little is actually done to assess whether the projects ultimately achieve their aims. The missing puzzle piece in the process of learning what kinds of social interventions can succeed requires studies, known as impact evaluations, to document whether changes in social outcomes can be attributed to particular programs The Evaluation Gap Working Group was convened to understand the reasons for the lack of good impact evaluation and the possible ways to make significant progress toward solving the problem. After a year of research and deliberation and further consultation among a broad set of interested parties, the group reached a recommendation for what the international community must do to close the « evaluation gap » : take individual action to reinforce existing efforts, and make a major advance through a collective endeavor.

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