Ex-post impact evaluations using mixed methods approaches

This project describes a generic evaluation framework which is applied to each of the six country-led impact evaluations. Theory-based, mixed methods approach was employed for impact evaluation.

The Theory of Change (ToC) was used to determine the specific evaluation questions and indicators for each ex-post impact evaluation. The ToC was tested in the project site to determine what worked under what circumstances. Quasi-experimental methods were applied to determine the effect of the intervention on project beneficiaries (i.e. average treatment effect or treatment effect on the treated). This was followed by an in-depth qualitative study using process tracing to explain the key findings of the quantitative study, to understand to what extent the original ToC worked (or did not) in the different contexts, and to identify the role of IFAD in the change process.

The objectives of these evaluations is to generate global public goods in 6 countries where IFAD operates. Specifically this global public good consists of both using the evidence gathered to improve policy making and to understand what contributes to poverty reduction.

Reducing absolute and relative poverty

Specifically these evaluations contribute to assess the general impact in these 6 countries towards reducing absolute and relative poverty and the evidence gathered through the impact evaluations provide lessons that are specific to the effectiveness of the interventions put in place in these 6 countries.

The impact evaluations conducted and supported under the grant report on the contribution of IFAD’s interventions vis-à-vis the following three core outcomes:

  1. women’s empowerment;
  2. movements out of poverty;
  3. economic resilience and adaptive capacity.

These core outcomes were further defined when developing the more detailed methodology for each specific project. The ToC and the logical framework of the project were the basis for identifying both qualitative and quantitative indicators, and in line with these, for choosing the appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis.

Capacity building of local partners

The goal of these evaluations is to increase the use of evidence in policy making and to understand what works, where, why and under what conditions in rural poverty reduction by improving the evaluation capacity of projects to generate strong evidence of project outcomes and impact (including poverty reduction, empowerment and economic resilience). Progress towards poverty reduction and gender empowerment were assessed. Lessons learned were extracted to build capacity of local partners and inform governments about progress to reduce poverty.