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Cost-ober 2021: The Role of High-Quality Cost Evidence in Impact Evaluation Research

Conference   |   Oct 27 2021 - Oct 28 2021

Photo: Mohammad Al-Arief/The World Bank. Cash Transfer in the town of Betafo

CEGA’s second annual “Cost-ober” series will feature two webinars and a virtual workshop on cost analysis and its important role in impact evaluation research. The event is hosted by CEGA’s Cost Transparency Initiative and associated Costing Community of Practice (CCoP). Please see below for details on the Cost-ober panels and workshop, and contact Sam Fishman at sfishman@berkeley.edu with any questions.

 

 

 

Day 1: Wednesday, October 27th

Panel 1: Cash Benchmarking in Programmatic Evaluation 
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM Pacific Time

“Cash benchmarking” is a method by which researchers directly compare the effectiveness of a traditional aid program (e.g. a youth livelihoods training program) with cash grants of equivalent value. The approach, if done well and in the proper context, can be a useful policy tool for guiding the allocation of scarce resources. Panelists Paul Niehaus (CEGA, GiveDirectly), Florence Kondylis (World Bank DIME), and Craig McIntosh (CEGA, UCSD) will discuss how, in practical terms, decision makers can apply the results of cash benchmarking studies in choices about program design, implementation, and scale.

Panel 2: Portfolio Level Costs and Benefits
9:15 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time

How can we credibly measure the costs and benefits of social programs at the portfolio level? This panel will showcase recent efforts by donors and NGOs to measure the costs and benefits of portfolios of innovations, exploring why considering program costs in addition to benefits is so important, and discussing the tradeoffs of different approaches. Panelists Ravi Gurumurthy (Nesta, formerly IRC)Milan Thomas (Asian Development Bank), and Nzinga Broussard (Global Innovation Fund) will share their experience and answer audience questions.

Day 2: Thursday, October 28th

Workshop: Scale, context, and cost: generating testable hypotheses using a real-world cost-efficiency data set
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Pacific Time
Organized by J-PAL, CEGA, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

What can (and can’t) cost estimates from different projects tell us about the costs of future programming? This workshop will explore how context and scale impact program cost estimates using real-world data and examples from the International Rescue Committee’s education portfolio. Workshop participants will join in a hands-on exercise to explore the data and generate testable hypotheses, asking, for example, whether digital delivery platforms are more cost-effective than non-digital approaches; or whether the cost efficiency of a program will increase or decrease as a program is brought to scale? This interactive session is co-organized and led by CEGA, J-PAL and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

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Date & Time

Oct 27 2021 - Oct 28 2021
08:00 - 10:15 Pacific Time

Get to know the speakers

Paul Niehaus
Associate Professor of Economics at UC San Diego and an affiliate of BREAD, CEGA, J-PAL, and the NBER; co-founder of GiveDirectly
Craig McIntosh
Professor; Co-director, Policy Design and Evaluation Lab, University of California San Diego
Florence Kondylis
Senior Economist, Economic Transformation & Growth Research Program Manager, Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)
Ravi Gurumurthy
Chief Executive, Nesta, formerly Chief Innovation Officer and head of the Airbel Center at the International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Milan Thomas
Fellow at Results for Development
Nzinga Broussard
Senior Director (Analytics), Global Innovation Fund (GIF)
Elizabeth Brown
Staff Scientist, CEGA
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