3ie Working Paper 24

Impact evaluation and policy decisions: where are we? A Latin American think tank perspective

3ie Working Paper 24, 2015

This paper by Jaramillo and Alcázar addresses questions that go to the heart of impact evaluation research: how much has the field achieved towards its goal of informing public policies, and which factors may have been furthering or hindering this goal? 

Looking primarily at its own experience, a Peruvian think tank, the Group for the Analysis of Development, elucidates the importance of factors such as the researcher’s contact with programme officers, methodological choices, external validity, institutional factors and public sector capacity, which may all play a role in making impact evaluation results more effective or less effective in informing policy decisions. 

The authors find a common perception among researchers: it is not enough to try to persuade public officials about the usefulness of an impact evaluation or to find ingenious ways to get the evaluation done. The keys are to institutionalise learning systems in which impact evaluations play an important role and to establish mechanisms that make their use mandatory, through an entity with authority and suitable capacities to do so. Recent experiences in Latin America suggest that the time is ripe for this type of institutional development.

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T​he future of impact evaluation for international development event highlights

3ie co-hosted an event with ​the ​William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which convened development leaders to reflect on the current state of impact evaluation and offered diverse perspectives on its future to propose how we can learn more to improve policies and programmes. Watch highlights from the ​t​he​​ future of impact evaluation for international development ​event ​which ​was ​organised ​​during 3ie's Washington Evidence Week​ in April 2015.

From impact evaluation evidence to policies: progress and challenges from a Latin American think tank perspective

In this video Miguel Jaramillo talks about the Peruvian think tank, Group for the Analysis of Development's experience with impact evaluation and its evolving relationship with public policy in the country. He discusses the inroads impact evaluation has made towards acceptance and influence, what factors have contributed to its advancement and what obstacles remain.

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