News Column

ADB Calls for More, Better Impact Evaluation

September 3, 2014



MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- More than 500 policymakers, program managers, and researchers gathered at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila today for the first large-scale conference in the Asia and Pacific region on impact evaluation.

The conference and training program-- Making Impact Evaluation Matter: Better Evidence for Effective Policies and Programmes --is focused on examining rigorous approaches to impact evaluation and sharing experience on how evaluations improve development policy and promote learning.

"Impact evaluation is a critical tool. It provides rigorous evidence on the impact of development programs on the lives of the poor; it helps the development community understand what works and what doesn't; and it can show how resources allocated to countries contribute to positive change," said Bindu N. Lohani, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. "Impact evaluation is an essential part of good development practice. We must take it more seriously."

Impact evaluations provide empirical evidence showing whether development actions result in measurable impact and greater aid effectiveness. Impact evaluations answer the fundamental question: what would have happened to beneficiaries if they had not received the action? They can, therefore, assess the impact attributed to a particular project, program, or policy.

"Good evidence enlightens judgment and provides a sound basis for decision-making. With impact evaluation, the objectives of government transparency and accountability become reality and do not remain mere slogans," said Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning in the Philippines and Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority.

The event will cover seven streams of discussion and more than 150 presentations of academic papers and impact evaluation case studies. Topics include infrastructure, as related to transport, energy, information and communication technology, urban development, and water; climate change and the environment; social development, including health, education, gender equity, and poverty; rural development, including agriculture and food security; and financial inclusion.

"The Philippines has joined the global revolution of using rigorous evidence from impact evaluations to design effective policies," said Howard White, Executive Director of International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). "3ie, with the support of the Australian government, will contribute to building this culture of evidence-informed policymaking with a commitment of PHP 170 million ($3.9 million) for independent impact evaluations of government programs."

The conference and training program is being organized by ADB, 3ie, and the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS).

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members--48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

3ie is an international grant-making NGO promoting evidence-informed development policies and programs in low- and middle-income countries. It is a global leader in funding and producing high-quality evidence of what works, how, why and at what cost. Its main funders are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKaid through the Department for International Development, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

PIDS is a nonstock, nonprofit government corporation established in 1977 to respond to a critical and growing need for research for planning and policy formulation. PIDS research is envisioned to help government planners and policymakers in the executive and legislative branches of government. Its primary clientele consists of the network of agencies which make up the National Economic and Development Authority.

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Source: M2 PressWIRE


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