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Why and How to Conduct Impact Evaluations in Humanitarian Emergencies

Anastasia Aladysheva and Tilman Brück contributed to a working paper published by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) on theory-based impact evaluations in the context of humanitarian emergencies. Despite the widespread occurrence of humanitarian emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes, droughts, floods and violent conflict and despite the significant financial resources devoted to humanitarian assistance, systematic learning from such interventions using rigorous theory-based impact evaluations are very rare.

The objective of this paper is therefore to examine the extent to which scientific impact evaluation methods can provide evidence to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency in humanitarian action. This paper explores the methodological options and challenges associated with collecting and generating high quality evidence needed to answer key questions about the performance of humanitarian assistance, including whether assistance is reaching the right people, at the right time, is bringing about the desired changes in their lives (effectiveness) and is being delivered in the right doses, ways and with manageable costs (efficiency). With the help of six case studies and drawing on real-life examples from the small but growing academic literature, we demonstrate how impact evaluation methods be used successfully and in an ethical manner to learn about how to improve humanitarian assistance. A key lesson from our review is that it pays to be prepared. Much information is being collected these days about the risks of various emergencies unfolding, be they sudden onset or slow onset emergencies. Hence national actors and international donors can prepare for these events and for conducting meaningful impact evaluations. Given the overwhelming needs and the lack of funds, doing more with limited resources is a key challenge for humanitarian assistance and impact evaluation is one way of achieving this.
Puri, J., A. Aladysheva, V. Iversen, Y. Ghorpade and T. Brück (2014). “What Methods May Be Used in Impact Evaluations of Humanitarian Assistance?”. 3ie Working Paper, Nr. 22. The full paper can be found here.

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New Publication on Gender Earnings Inequality and Wage Policy in Kyrgyzstan published in Comparative Economic Studies

New paper by Damir Esenaliev and Kathryn H. Anderson on gender earnings inequality and wage policy in Kyrgyzstan has been published in Comparative Economic Studies. The findings show that the policy reform conducted in 2011 to increase the wages for teachers, health and social workers not only reduced wage gap in these sectors compared to non-reformed sectors, but also had a pronounced gender gap narrowing effect in the reform sectors and economy-wide.

3ie Policy Brief: What works to improve nutrition and food security in the Sahel?

ISDC researchers contributed to the 3ie Policy Brief “What works to improve nutrition and food security in the Sahel?” This brief summarises the main findings and lessons from a synthesis of four 3ie-supported impact evaluations of the World Food Programme’s interventions to improve nutrition and food security outcomes. It offers recommendations to improve operational efficiency […]

Simple statistical tools fail to describe jobs well in developing countries, new research by Damir Esenaliev and Neil Ferguson shows

In November 2018, Social Indicators Research published an original research article by Damir Esenaliev and Neil Ferguson on the relationship between good jobs and personal wellbeing. This study is one of the first conducted in a development context that looks beyond simple measures of job quality suggested by the classical labour supply model. This research […]