Evaluating impact in African development

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) in collaboration with Twaweza presents Lessons from the Field: A Symposium on Impact Evaluation in African Development. The Symposium brought together academic researchers from the world's top academic research institutions to present and discuss their work in impact evaluation. The aim was to discuss not only their work, but how this work informs policy making.

At the meeting, the audience heardpresentations from Hassan Mshinda, the Director General of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), who discussed his work in building capacity for impact evaluation in Tanzania; from Dan Posner, of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Evan Lieberman, of Princeton University and Lily Tsai, of MIT,  who presented evidence on how information can engender more active citizenship;  from Jeanine Condo, Deputy Director of Research, Consultancy and Grants at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), who discussed her research on how households with individuals living with HIV or AIDS are affected by pay-for-performance schemes; from Stuti Khemani, a Senior Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, who will presented her work on incentivizing citizens to move government towards improved service delivery; and from Munshi Sulaiman, the head of BRAC's Research and Evaluation Unit (RED), who presented how microfinance can be coupled with other services to improve development outcomes for the poor.

The aim of the conference was to allow social scientists to exchange ideas and share their latest research results. It also allowed researchers to build linkages with development organizations, including local NGOs, civil society organizations, government offices, and advocacy groups. In addition to disseminating research results and networking, the annual impact evaluation conference is an important vehicle for building capacity on conducting rigorous impact evaluations.

Twaweza hopes to continue being a center for impact evaluation in Tanzania and generate a growing presence of researchers doing impact evaluation in Tanzania. The symposium complements ongoing emphasis on impact evaluation at Twaweza.

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