The priority agenda includes conducting regional workshops to provide customized training in impact evaluation fundamentals. Participants will include government officials, local researchers and World Bank task teams who either are working together on the design of new World Bank-supported projects or considering the use of impact evaluation for other projects. The goal is to equip people with the knowledge and technical skills needed to build high quality impact evaluation into project design. Consistent, rigorous evaluation of innovative, new government programs will build an evidence base for better human development policies that will benefit all developing countries and enhance aid effectiveness.
Impact Evaluation measures a program's effectiveness by comparing the target outcomes of beneficiaries against a control group - both before and after project implementation. The central challenge for rigorous evaluations is to develop a credible counterfactual - establishing what would have happened to the beneficiaries had they not been exposed to the program. A reliable counterfactual comes from identifying a comparison (or control) group of participants that is as similar as possible to those benefiting from the program.
Evidence from credible impact evaluations is one of the most powerful tools available to policymakers for improving the design of programs and policies. Reliable impact evaluation results also allow policymakers and donors to better allocate funds across competing programs. Unlike other forms of evaluation, rigorous impact evaluations allow us to understand when observed changes - such as better health, nutrition or education - can be attributed to a specific development program.
Using evaluation results for decision making
Linking monitoring systems/data and impact evaluation
Mainstreaming impact evaluation and evidence-based policy into government systems
Workshops are organized into plenary, parallel and small group sessions. The plenary sessions are for all participants, while the parallel sessions are divided between policymaker and technical track sessions.
Policymaker Sessions are designed for stakeholders working in an operational capacity and responsible for oversight, implementation and logistics of impact evaluations. These sessions provide a theoretical foundation for identifying causality and different evaluation methodologies. The Policymaker Sessions also cover practical techniques for building high quality impact evaluations into new programs - including results-based monitoring, sample design, roll-out strategies and operational tools.
Technical Track Sessions are geared toward professionals who want to deepen their knowledge of theoretical econometric estimation methodologies and lead in the design of impact evaluations. These sessions cover advanced econometric and statistical techniques and case studies that illustrate the clear link between theory and practice.
Small Group Sessions reinforce the material covered in the parallel tracks and foster participation and interaction among participants. Assigned moderators work with each group to guide the conversation and provide technical support. During the workshops, project teams develop rigorous impact evaluation designs for their own projects and present their designs to the larger group for feedback.
Workshop Ripple Effect
One of the best indicators of workshop success is demonstrated by continued regional and national interest in follow-up workshops.