Conference impact evaluation - taking stock and looking ahead

Do you want to engage in a conference with the latest insights on impact evaluation? Are you a policy maker, evaluator, M&E professional, manager with M&E or RBM responsibilities or researcher facing challenges in impact evaluation? Then this conference may be for you!

Organisator Centre for Development Innovation and the Agricultural Economics Institute, Wageningen UR; Learning by Design; CTA

ma 25 maart 2013 tot di 26 maart 2013

Subject: Much is at stake

Impact Evaluation (IE) has been at the centre of attention within the evaluation field for several years. IE addresses the fundamental question: what works for whom, and under what conditions? Governments, civil society organisations and companies want to know if their money has contributed to positive changes in peoples’ lives, and if so: how and why. They want clear answers to shape and improve on future policies. Those implementing publicly funded initiatives want to understand if their efforts have rendered envisaged effects, and if not, what can be done differently. Companies, increasingly taking social and supply chain responsibilities, want to ensure and communicate how their business benefits planet and people. Governments and the tax payers that vote them in look to development with critical eyes – is it ‘value for money’? Researchers, intrigued by the quest for evidence, are innovating with new IE approaches. Jointly, these actors add to the body of knowledge about ‘what works’ and what doesn’t. Many stakeholders with much at stake.

Challenge: what influences evaluation design, communication and utilization

Evaluation is not – and never has been – neutral. So too within the specific area of IE, different perspectives and interests vie for central stage and power relations shape what transpires. Who defines what is IE? Who defines what is to be evaluated? Who sets methodological boundaries? Who interprets data and uses results? Different values and different paradigms influence the evaluation process, findings and use. What are the issues that need attention as we balance power, rigour, robustness and utility of IE?

Core questions

During the 2-day conference the following questions will be explored:

  • How is utilization of IE findings influenced by IE design and communication?

Sub questions include:

                            * What influences IE design?

                            * What influences communication of IE findings?

  • What can be done in design and communication to enhance utilization of IE findings?

Conference approach

This conference will actively engage participants in reviewing a range of IE cases with different IE methodologies and exploring the core questions. A keynote speech by Dr. Irene Guijt and Professor Elliot Stern will set the stage for this exploration and in a panel discussion key reflections and ideas for the future will be discussed.