Blog

Taking disability evidence to the policy makers who need it

Thomas Shakespeare | 7 May 2020 How much is known about disability and development?  In particular, how much is known on how best to improve the lives of the one billion disabled people in the world?  Sadly, there are huge gaps, as the WHO and World Bank World report on disability 2011 and more recently the CEDIL-supported  evidence and gap map 2018  have demonstrated. The former was unable to provide detailed guidelines on the best interventions.  The latter found 138 eligible studies of which 53
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Unveiling 25 innovative CEDIL projects: breaking new ground on design and filling evidence gaps

Howard White | 13 March 2020 Twenty years ago, I was part of a team conducting a thematic evaluation of the poverty impact of British aid. The terms of reference for the evaluation did specify that we should consider the use of micro data to look at poverty impact at project level, but the team rejected that approach as infeasible. Ten years later the evaluation department of DANIDA convened a workshop in impact evaluation of infrastructure evaluations (the papers of which are published in a
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When, where and for whom does evidence apply? The example of road safety

This week I attended a pre-conference event at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, organised by the Independent Council for Road Safety International (ICORSI). Campbell South Asia has been working with ICORSI to produce an evidence and gap map of interventions to improve road safety. The first draft of this map formed the basis of many of the presentations at the event. This was a great moment for Campbell. An international meeting of sector experts, co-branded as a Campbell event, using
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Exploring what works – to Mexico City and beyond

As we enter the final days of preparation for the What Works Global Summit in Mexico City next week, I still worry about whether this is time and money well spent. I do believe that research on what works is one of the best buys in development. Conferences can be worthwhile if they further the evidence agenda. Will we do that, and what will CEDIL’s contribution be? On 14 October, CEDIL will be hosting a full-day pre-conference workshop – ‘Frontiers in evaluating causality’ – where
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Unbalanced Growth in Egypt: Letter from Egypt #1

Driving over one of the many new bridges in Egypt, part of a massive infrastructure investment programme, we saw a woman sweeping the road as cars sped by. I commented to my wife ‘that’s a dangerous job’. As we passed I saw she was sweeping with the brush in one hand, the other holding the hand of a small child she was trying to keep behind her out of the way of the oncoming traffic.  This image captures several aspects of Egypt’s development. Most obvious
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Parachutes, apples and the overstated limits to generalisability

The Nobel prize-winning economist, Angus Deaton, has criticised the development impact community’s insistence on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as the only source of credible evidence for interventions, declaring: we don’t need an RCT to know we’d rather be wearing a parachute when jumping out of plane. In fact, some years earlier a tongue in cheek systematic review had been published in the British Medical Journal on the effectiveness of parachutes in preventing injury. But it was an ‘empty review’. The authors could find no RCTs
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