A group of people sit outside a thatched rooved building set in a grassy village with patches of garden, and terraced hills in the distance

Centre for Excellence and Development Impact and Learning

The Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL) was established in 2017 through funding from UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Its primary objectives are to:

  • Develop and test innovative methods for evaluation and evidence synthesis in international development contexts
  • Build the evidence base on research uptake and use in decision-making


To deliver these goals, CEDIL is commissioning a £10 million research portfolio of primary evaluations, secondary data analysis, evidence synthesis and exploratory projects. These projects will focus on three thematic areas:

  • Evaluating complex interventions: The Centre seeks to strengthen methods to evaluate complex, multi-component interventions and improve theoretical understanding of causal chains that explain how and why combinations of activities work.
  • Enhancing  evidence transferability: The Centre will develop and test middle-range theories to explain how programmes work in a plurality of contexts and how interventions can be designed and adapted to novel contexts.
  • Increasing evidence use: The Centre aims to rigorously assess three areas of research uptake – stakeholder engagement, making sense of evidence and communication methods – and will develop guidelines for policymakers on using evidence from multiple sources.

In addition, the Centre’s Directorate will undertake evidence synthesis and outreach activities to maximise learning from its research and ensure uptake.

New CEDIL Methods Working Paper on Evidence and Gap Maps

‘The strategic use of evidence and gap maps to build evidence architecture’ is a CEDIL Methods Working Paper that describes this approach. It introduces evidence and gap maps and draws on five case studies to illustrate how they can be used strategically to build evidence architecture.

In recent years, a number of organisations have adopted various approaches to evidence mapping, including the EPPI Centre, the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation and the Campbell Collaboration.

Download the complete paper here.

CEDIL consortium members