Evaluations and evidence synthesis for social programmes

Featured speakers: Francis Rathinam, senior evaluation specialist, 3ie, New Delhi
Denny John, evidence synthesis specialist, Campbell Collaboration, New Delhi
Chair: Sanjai Bhatt, coordinator, Centre for Advanced Study, Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi University, Delhi
Date: 30 January 2018
Time: 11:30am-15:30pm
Venue: Class Room 3, Delhi School of Social Work, 3, Delhi University Road, Delhi, 110007

Over the last decade, there has been significant investment made to generate evidence about programmes designed to improve the lives of people living in poverty. These evidence and evaluation initiatives are helping to improve existing frameworks, methods and tools for assessing programme effects; generate and synthesise data on development programmes; inform policy reforms; and guide strategic investment across the sector towards more efficient, effective and accountable programmes. especially in low- and middle-income countries. 

Results from impact evaluations and evidence syntheses powerfully contribute to our knowledge of ‘what works’ in social programmes. Such information is critical not only for the policymakers directly in charge of the programme evaluated, but also for others who consider adapting its approach for use in their own circumstances.

This seminar will give participants an overview of impact evaluations and evidence synthesis, using examples and experiences from 3ie and the Campbell Collaboration. The presentations will be followed by an interactive session with students about the basic principles involved in conducting an impact evaluation.


Time Programme
11:30-11:40 Registration and tea
11:40-12:00 Welcome and Introductory Remarks
  • Introduction to 3ie
  • Introduction to Campbell Collaboration
12:00-13:00 Introduction to impact evaluation of social programmes
Credible and appropriate impact evaluation can greatly improve the effectiveness of development programmes. This session will have a quick introduction to the methodology and terms associated with impact evaluations. Using examples from 3ie-funded impact evaluations of social protection programmes, this session will provide an overview of why an impact evaluation should be done, when and what it can answer. The session will also provide the rationale behind using different methods of impact evaluation.
13:00– 13:30 Lunch
13:30–14:30 Evaluations and evidence synthesis of social programmes
This session will comprise an introduction to the methodology and terms used in evidence synthesis, mainly the use of systematic reviews. Using the examples from public health the session will also provide inputs on how an ‘evidence-informed approach’ drawing on information from research and academic studies, along with expertise and practice wisdom, along with views and experiences of people accessing services, can be used in social work practice and program design approaches in social programmes.
14:30-15:00 Q&A session

About the speakers

Francis Rathinam Francis manages 3ie impact evaluation grants across a wide spectrum of development issues, including transparency and accountability, governance and social protection. He also works closely with some of 3ie’s member country governments to build capacity to use and institutionalise impact evaluations. Prior to joining 3ie, Francis was a research specialist with the UK Department for International Development's (DFID), where he supported DFID's private sector engagement in South Asia. Francis holds a PhD in law and economics from the University of Hyderabad, India. He was also a visiting scholar at the Institute for Law and Economics, University of Hamburg, Germany from 2006-08.

Denny John Denny is a public health specialist with more than fourteen years of experience across various domains; managing hospitals and community programs, implementation research, economic evaluations, systematic reviews and epidemiological forecasting studies.
He is currently attached as Evidence Synthesis Specialist, Campbell Collaboration at its New Delhi office. He is also an adjunct scientist with National Institute of Medical Statistics, Indian Council of Medical Research, for providing technical and research support in the field of evidence synthesis, economic evaluation and health technology assessment. Denny holds an MPH from the University of Auckland, and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur. Denny is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Health, in the UK. He is also member of the Governing Council of the Indian Health Economics and Policy Association.

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