Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, decision-makers have needed rapid access to evidence to inform policy responses. The crisis has highlighted the need to be responsive in generating and drawing on existing high-quality evidence, while dealing with high levels of uncertainty and difficult trade-offs. It has also highlighted the importance of learning from both global and local evidence. The evidence community has come together in a variety of ways to understand decision-maker needs and make evidence accessible. Building stakeholder networks, providing rapid evidence services and developing evidence maps and portals are some of the many approaches used by evidence producers to support the pandemic-response effort. The 2022 CEDIL conference featured expert speakers from around the world. They shared experiences and lessons learned on generating and using evidence during a crisis. The conference was also an opportunity to discuss innovative approaches, methods and themes that have gained importance during the pandemic – including evaluating complex development interventions, using big data and machine learning, and developing rigorous approaches for transferring evidence and applying learning across contexts.
An apparel worker plies her trade while maintaining social distance with other workers as readymade garment (RMG) factories reopened amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Dhaka. Credit: UN Women/Fahad Abdullah Kaizer
- Promoting evidence use during a crisis – Opening Plenary Session, Tuesday March 22nd – (2 Hours) WATCH NOW This session will focus on sharing learning about generating, promoting and using evidence during a crisis. It will reflect the viewpoints of evidence producers, brokers and users.
- Maintaining learning during the pandemic – Wednesday March 23rd (1.5 Hours) WATCH NOW COVID-19 has disrupted schooling, caused severe learning losses and exacerbated inequalities across the world. This session will focus on how to maximize the effectiveness of learning in the context of the pandemic and consider what evidence we need for informing decision-making.
- Innovations in machine learning and big data – Thursday March 24th (1.5 Hours) WATCH NOW Machine learning methods and the use of big data have opened new opportunities to researchers and evaluators. With data collection in the field becoming more challenging during the pandemic, these innovations have become even more relevant. A major area of research is the intersection between causal inference as practised in statistics, epidemiology and economics, and innovations in computational methods developed in computer science.
- Transferring evidence between contexts – Friday March 25th (1.5 Hours) WATCH NOW The demand for evidence is growing. But there are many gaps in evidence for specific interventions or for specific contexts. How can we assess and facilitate the transferability of evidence across interventions and between contexts?
- Professor Adnan Khan, Chief Economist, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom
- Timothy Lubanga, Commissioner, Monitoring & Evaluation, Office of the Prime Minister, Uganda
- Harsha Dayal, Director, Research & Knowledge Management, Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Government of South Africa
- Dr John Lavis, Director, McMaster Health Forum, Canada
- Dr. Howard White, Research Director, CEDIL
- Professor Sheetal Silal, Modelling and Simulation Hub, Africa (MASHA), University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Dr Marie Gaarder, Executive Director, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), US
- Dr Noam Angrist, Executive Director, Youth Impact, Botswana
- Dr Shwetlena Sabarwal, Senior Economist, Education Global Practice The World Bank, US
- Sally Gear, Head of Profession, Education, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
- Dr Pooja Reddy Nakamura, Principal Researcher, International Development Division, American Institute for Research
- Siddhesh Mhatre, Co-Head – MME and Lead – Operations of Direct Elementary Programs, Pratham Education Foundation
- Alessandra Garbero, Lead Regional Economist, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Italy
- Dr Ghassan Baliki, Program Director: WelfareF40 ISDC – International Security and Development Center gGmbH, Germany
- Prof. Karla Diaz-Ordaz, Professor of Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Prof. James Thomas, Professor of Social Research & Policy, University College London
- Paul Jasper, Data Innovation Lead, Oxford Policy Management
- Professor Chris Bonell, Professor of Public Health Sociology and Head of Department of Social & Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Board Member of UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), United Kingdom
- Sheree (Bennett) Kullenberg, Senior Advisor, Research & Evidence, International Rescue Committee, Germany
- Dr Annette Brown, Principal Economist and Acting Head of Strategy FHI 360
- Dr Patrick Okwen, Team Lead eBASE Africa, Cameroon