Introducing the Development Impact blog


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Welcome to our new blog about impact evaluation. The number of impact evaluations both within and outside the World Bank have increased dramatically in recent years (see Figure below). The World Bank’s DIME initiative reports the number of active impact evaluations at the World Bank has increased from a couple of dozen in 2004 to over 250 in 2010. As a result, there are more producers and more consumers of impact evaluations than ever before – and more questions about how to conduct evaluations, what we are learning from these evaluations, and what can be done to learn more from them.

This blog has been set up by members of the Development Research Group at the World Bank to provide a forum for discussing these issues.

Source: DIME.

(Source: DIME.  Figure shows impact evaluations by World Bank region: SAR = South Asia, MNA = Middle East and North Africa, LAC= Latin America and the Caribbean, ECA = Europe and Central Asia, EAP = East Asia and the Pacific, AFR = Sub-Saharan Africa)

Our goal is to cover a broad range of issues relating to impact evaluations, including:

  • Summaries, critiques,  and discussions of new research papers
  • Discussions of ongoing and planned evaluations
  • Methodological issues in doing experimental and non-experimental evaluations
  • Stories and puzzles from fieldwork

We want this blog to be something that is useful to both producers and consumers of impact evaluations, which can provide an opportunity for serious discussion and sharing of experiences. We hope to have a range of guest bloggers from both inside and outside the World Bank.  We encourage all readers to not only participate in the discussions by commenting on blog posts, but also sending ideas and materials for blogs, as well as for guest blogging.

Please let us know in the comments any ideas you have for pressing issues to discuss, or topics you would like to see covered in future posts.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Markus Goldstein

Lead Economist, Africa Gender Innovation Lab and Chief Economists Office

Berk Özler

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Jed Friedman

Senior Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Join the Conversation

Phil Hawkins
April 06, 2011

Thanks for this. Interested in your views on impact evaluations on education interventions. Currently working for a UK NGO in Brazil in the public school sector bringing best practice from the UK. It's been a major challenge as most of our 'usual' benchmarks like student attendance, teacher absence are not regularly available. Sometimes this is because the systems are not set up/managed well or that data is very sensitive and therefore is reluctantly shared. We are working hard on building relationship and trust. As you'll know, education outcomes tend to be fairly long term and we need to be able to demonstrate properly the amazing work that we know we are part of. Do you have any case studies/contacts that would be useful to me?