New Seminar Series Looks at Impact Evaluation

Receiving a BRAC loan. Bangladesh

With more and more money being spent on international development programs, there is growing demand from donors and policymakers for evidence that such programs actually make a difference in the lives of the world’s poor. The field of impact evaluation looks to answer the questions of whether research has led to desired policy changes and whether those policy changes in turn have led to improvements in desired economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Innovative impact evaluation studies can enhance the design and uptake of more effective policies and programs, ensuring that research results in a real impact on poor populations.

The first International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and IFPRI seminar was webcast live on May 23. David McKenzie of the World Bank spoke about lessons from business training and female entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. Alan de Brauw of IFPRI served as discussant.

McKenzie presented results from the paper Business Training and Female Enterprise Start-up, Growth and Development: Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka. This paper investigates the impact of Start-and-Improve Your Business training programs in developing countries, specifically in the context of women who operate an existing subsistence enterprise or who are out of the labor force but are interested in starting a business.

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and IFPRI Seminar Series highlights the latest impact evaluation research and facilitates discussion of how to bring improvements and innovation to the field of impact evaluation. The 3ie-IFPRI Seminar Series presents speakers and discussants whose work features innovative methodologies and addresses crucial evaluation questions. The second seminar is scheduled for June 6.