Transforming Development through Evidence of What Works
The Global Institute for Development Evidence (GIDE) with its global office in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA), African regional office in Uganda and Southern Africa office Zambia, is an international impact evaluation initiative with services in Africa, Asia and USA.
GIDE supports country-led evaluation systems and policies to improve the effectiveness of inclusive green growth through:
- Enhancing capacities of national policy makers, researchers and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in undertaking impact evaluation using different innovative evaluation systems;
- Promoting a culture of impact evaluation at country levels to provide information on how to repeat success and avoid future failures through: production and use of tangible evidence of what works, undertaking performance evaluations of interventions, and assessment of environmental impacts;
- Providing technical support to governments in design, development and IMPACT EVALUATION of Investment Plans and Grant Preparation for Implementation of CLIMATE-RESILIENT projects in the sectors of AGRICULTURE, INFRASTRUCTURE: ENERGY, WATER, INDUSTRY, TRANSPORTATION.
- Mainstreaming of the ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS (including gender) and REGIONAL INTEGRATION into national/regional policies, programs and projects.
- Online/in-class training for GRADUATE STUDENTS; and training workshops for AFRICAN & ASIAN POLICY MAKERS, PRACTITIONERS & CONSULTANTS in above areas.
Evaluations aim to answer questions about what actions work best to achieve desired impacts, how and why they are or are not achieved, at what costs, what the positive and negative impacts are, and what needs to be corrected to improve intervention. Evaluation can help resolve uncertainty and determine the relative cost-effectiveness of different interventions, models, or approaches. And, this is what GIDE is created for - to provide decision makers with credible information and enhance their capacity in their policy making process and choice of interventions in different and complex settings in developing countries.
In providing decision makers with credible information, there is no such a thing as one-size-fits-all approach in impact evaluation. Each development initiative requires a set of different impact evaluation approaches depending on the settings and issues at hand. Within the different approaches we use, there are also a range of methods, including qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, retrospective and prospective designs, experimentation, theory-based evaluation, and systems-based approaches. GIDE works with three impact evaluation approaches as below, based on different development needs to provide credible information (outcomes or evidence of what works) to decision makers to achieve best value for money from public resources, improve decision-making and learn lessons to improve lives.
Specifically, GIDE provides impact evaluations and related capacity building services through projects/programs or short-term and long-term contracts to corporations, governments, bilateral, international and multilateral institutions based on the following three evaluation approaches:
1. Systematic Reviews (SRs): New evaluations are not always necessary or cost effective. GIDE undertakes SRs to support policy makers generate evidence of what works, when, why and how much for decision making to replace the common practice of basing policy decision on opinion or how one feels about development issues. SRs can draw together key lessons, presenting existing knowledge from a variety of sources in a useful way and playing a central role in learning. SRs are necessary when evidence is needed to fill a knowledge gap or evaluate a significant policy decision. SRs are about Evidence Based Practice (EBP) which is integrating expert opinion with external scientific evidence and beneficiary perspectives for effective development. A SR aims to provide an exhaustive summary of current literature from multiple studies relevant to a research question to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question. SRs are used to inform practice guidelines and public and private sector policy decisions in inclusive green growth as is now commonly used in health policy decisions as an alternative to expert opinion or consensus conferences.
To this end, we try to answer difficult questions which policy makers and practitioners are now asking:
- How do we know that a particular intervention is going to work in a specific area?
- How do we know that the intervention has not failed in similar situations, without reviewing what has been done in other places to find out what worked and what did not work?
- How do we decide if the chosen action is likely to do more good than harm?
- How much will the intervention cost based on what worked elsewhere?
2. Mid Term Reviews of Projects and Performance Evaluation of Projects, Programs or Policies in operation or after they have ended. Broadly, these evaluations involve assessing outcomes against stated objectives, benchmarks, standards, and expectations. These evaluations include "Results-Oriented Country Strategy Evaluations" which GIDE undertakes on behalf of Multilateral Development Banks such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank. Besides, like SRs, these evaluations require a systematic approach to provide evidence‐based information that is credible, reliable and useful based on the criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and impact of the project, program or policy evaluated. The evaluator is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with client counterparts. The evaluations also include counterfactual analysis - assessing what might have happened in the absence of the project, program, or policy. In sum, performance evaluation provides our clients with reliable, independent feedback about what needs to be improved to strengthen their approach. We conduct performance evaluation under the following instances:
- When our clients need a better understanding of how an important investment or a specific project, program or policy has performed by the end of a funding cycle (e.g. End of Project Evaluation).
- When our client’s institution is at a critical stage of development and can benefit from an independent performance assessment of an on-going initiative (e.g. Mid Term Review)
- When a client needs to assess the progress of a new operational model or approach including flagship publications.
3. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is necessary to identify, analyze and predict significance of both negative & positive impacts of development interventions. EIA is warranted when decision-makers need to know the likely consequences of their actions, and incorporate cost-effective measures to restore, sustain and protect natural systems and maintain environmental quality at the earliest stages of planning. The EIA attempts to identify potential problems so that economic feasibility (and impact) of alternative approaches can be assessed while there is still time to make changes. GIDE conducts EIA for nearly most development projects ranging from agriculture to large infrastructural projects.
GIDE's impact evaluation focuses on three thematic areas to improve lives of vulnerable populations:
- Socio-economic Development: poverty, gender and income equalities, employment, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, regional integration and trade
- Agriculture: increased productivity for food security
- Environment & Natural Resources: enhancing resilience of livelihoods and agricultural production systems to climate change and related hazards; climate responsive budgeting/Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs)/Medium-Term Economic Frameworks (MTEFs) for "Green Growth/Climate Resilient Green Economy".
Founded by Alfred Latigo, a former UN Economist/Policy Analyst, GIDE is steered and advised by experienced and multidisciplinary Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Consultants and Corporate professionals who have worked in governments, international institutions: corporations, research institutions, universities, the UN and World Bank