Regression Discontinuity designs have become a popular addition to the impact evaluation toolkit, and offer a visually appealing way of demonstrating the impact of a program around a cutoff. An extension of this approach which is growing in usage is the regression kink design(RKD). I’ve never estimated one of these, and am not an expert, but thought it might be useful to try to provide an introduction to this approach along with some links that people can then follow-up on if they want to implement it.
impact evaluation methods
This post is jointly authored by David Evans and Bruce Wydick.
A daunting question faced by many non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in poverty work is—after all the fundraising, logistical work, direct work with the poor, and accounting is all done—one naturally wonders: Is my NGO having a positive impact? Indeed, as a recent Guardian article highlighted, “If the [NGO] sector wants to properly serve local populations, it needs to improve how it collects evidence.” Donors are also increasingly demanding evidence of impact from NGOs, no longer just the large funders, but the small individual donors as well.
3ie was set up to fill ‘the evaluation gap’, the lack of evidence about ‘what works in development’. Our founding document stated that 3ie will be issues-led, not methods led, seeking the best available method to answer the evaluation question at hand. We have remained true to this vision in that we have already funded close to 100 studies in over 30 countries around the world.
Last week, my unit at the Bank organized a workshop on Cost Analysis for Interventions in Human Development. No – this wasn’t a ploy to gather a bunch of accountants in one place to see how many it would really take to change a light bulb.
One area in which we see very little impact evaluation is the realm of trade related interventions and reforms. In a recent paper Olivier Cadot and coauthors give us a discussion of these types of interventions and how we might evaluate them (they also have an attendant book with some applications).