Governments and civil society groups around the world are seeking new ways to create economic opportunities and provide critical public services. However, identifying innovations that promote change requires better access to data, research, and the results of rigorous evaluations. Few forums exist for government, civil society innovators, and other partners to build the systems and capacities needed to use this type of evidence. Rarer still are opportunities for public officials to reflect on their work and build the partnerships necessary to sustain reforms in the long-term.
The Economic Development & Institutions (EDI) program aims to address these knowledge gaps and build the evidence base needed for inclusive, sustainable economic growth across the developing world. A core component of EDI is a portfolio of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that test key institutional reforms, in partnership with governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Led by CEGA researchers, this portfolio is demand-driven, with research projects based on the interests of partner governments and civil society counterparts. We embed RCTs within a series of planned interventions or policy changes, and then evaluate impacts on public sector performance and accountability. Studies are linked together to draw a broader set of conclusions about policy reforms and growth.
Since its inception, EDI has built a portfolio of 14 full-scale and 16 pilot randomized evaluations in 12 countries around the world. Each study evaluates an active policy reform in collaboration with leading government and civil society counterparts, including the Judiciary of Kenya, Mexico City Labor Court, the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, and the Rwanda Education Board, among many others. Our goal is to provide rigorous evaluation in support of these policy decisions while also contributing to the global public understanding of accountability and performance within public institutions.
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