Rigorous evaluation is critical for improving the quality and impact of social sector programs. Yet relatively few developing country researchers are involved in prospective impact assessments. There is also limited networking among researchers, which can slow the diffusion of information across regions. As a result, policymakers and decision-makers often lack the relevant, locally generated evidence needed to improve development outcomes.
By supporting Global Networks, CEGA connects with universities and development agencies around the world, providing opportunities for collaborative research and learning. Our activities—including fellowships, research funding, online courses, and annual summits—advance local leadership in impact evaluation. Long term, we aim to equip universities and governments with the skills needed to carry out the most rigorous policy-relevant research.
CEGA currently has three initiatives that support research and training in impact evaluation.
The BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative (BCLC) provides anchor funding for research projects co-led by BRAC and CEGA researchers. The program also sponsors professional development fellowships for BRAC staff, promoting the cross-fertilization of ideas and leveraging BRAC’s wide operational footprint to expand local research capacity. Learn more about our Fellows.
The East Africa Social Science Translation Collaborative (EASST) is a multi-institution research network with a mission to promote rigorous evaluation of social and economic development programs in East Africa. EASST offers competitive fellowships and research grants to junior social scientists at East African research institutions, focused on rigorous program evaluation and translation of findings into better public policies and programs. Learn more about our Fellows.
The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE - pronounced wah-GAH-pay) connects deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy research methods. Since its inception in 2002, WGAPE affiliates have made important contributions in the areas of ethnic politics, civil conflict and violence, decentralization and democratization, and public service provision, and corruption. The network has been actively engaged in methodological discussions related to the design of survey instruments, field experiments, lab experiments, pre-analysis plans, and the ethics of development research.
The Berkeley-InterAmerican Development Bank Impact Evaluation Collaborative (BIC) aims to institutionalize the role of impact evaluation in policymaking throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. BIC builds the capacity of IDB staff and counterparts in client countries to conduct rigorous program evaluations. Learn more about our online Applied Impact Evaluation course.
Does providing incentives to medical providers impact their performance of Anti-Retroviral Treatment for HIV/AIDS Services?
Paul Gertler and Jeanine Condo (CEGA and EASST, respectively) are studying how financial incentives to medical providers impact the adherence of HIV+ patients to anti-retroviral therapy. The researchers use a difference-in-difference approach, exploiting the geographic phase-in of a provider pay-for-performance contracting scheme in Rwanda.
Do SMS Reminders improve the consistency and amount of pension savings among informal sector participants in Kenya?
Researchers William Dow (CEGA), Justin White, and Amos Njugana (EASST) are using SMS savings reminders to increase the consistency and amount of pension savings among informal workers in Kenya. They are randomizing the frequency and framing of reminders. Results will be measured using surveys and deposit data from Kenya’s Retirement Benefits Authority.
Impact Evaluation of Targeting Ultra Poor Program
Researchers Ethan Ligon (CEGA) and Elliot Collins are partnering with Reajul Chowdhury (BRAC) to study BRAC’s “Targeting the Ultra-Poor” (TUP) program. The program has been successful in Bangladesh and is now being adapted for households in South Sudan. The evaluation aims to identify the smallest cash transfer needed to deliver sustained increases in household income. The treatment group will receive cash transfers in different amounts, while the control group will receive liquid assets (such as livestock) in an amount equivalent to the treatment group.
Photo: CEGA Fall 2014 Visiting Scholars. Pictured from left to right: Vedaste Ndahindwa, Jinnat Ara, Mahbubar Rahman; Credit: CEGA.