“Impact Evaluations: Can we learn more? Better?" conference was just co-hosted by the Center for Global Development and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). The conference was an opportunity to take stock of the current production of studies that aim to attribute changes in outcomes to particular interventions. In 2006, the Center published a working group report which argued that too few good quality impact evaluations were being conducted, what it called an “evaluation gap.”
In response to that report, 3ie was created in 2009. Now, four years later, the time is ripe to look at what has happened and consider what else might be done to make sure good evidence is available and used in improving public policy. There is a great deal more good research being done. The number of impact evaluations being published has more than tripled between 2007 and 2011. The total, about 120 in 2011, is still far less than is probably needed if you consider that there are more than 100 countries working in more than a dozen sectors with numerous interventions worth assessing.
Details on the quality of the increase of evaluation are detailed in this CGD article.