CEDIL - Centre for Evaluation Lecture Series

CEDIL – Centre for Evaluation Lecture Series

The Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL) and the Centre for Evaluation host a lecture series addressing methods and innovation in primary studies.

Download the CEDIL_CfE-Lecture-Series-Calendar All lectures will be live-streamed, recorded, and posted on this site later.

Stakeholder Engagement for Development Impact Evaluation and Evidence Synthesis

Date :  Wednesday 23 January 2019

Time :  12:45 – 14:00 GMT

Location :  Keppel Street, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Room :  John Snow B Lecture Theatre

Speaker :  Professor Sandy Oliver

About the lecture

This lecture explores methods for engaging stakeholders in making decisions for international aid and social development in the presence and absence of relevant research. It draws on empirical evidence about engaging stakeholders in the generation and use of evidence, taking into account political analysis, social psychology and systems thinking. It finds that the suitability of methods for engagement depends largely on the confidence that can be placed in knowledge about the specific context, and knowledge from elsewhere that seems theoretically or statistically transferable. When decisions are about generating new knowledge, the suitability of methods for engagement depends largely on whether the purpose is to generate knowledge for a specific context or for more generalizable use and, at the outset, the confidence and consensus underpinning the key concepts of interest. The Lecture will be available to view live at the link below. Live Recording

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy is Professor of Public Policy at UCL Institute of Education. For thirty years her interests have focused on the interaction between researchers and people making decisions in their professional and personal lives, largely through the conduct of systematic reviews. She is a member of the Board of the Campbell Collaboration and Cochrane editor with their Consumers and Communication Review Group. Her recent contributions to research synthesis methods come from working with the UK Department for International Development and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO to build capacity in systematic reviewing in developing countries.


Sandy Oliver

Previous lectures are listed below

To boldly go where no evaluator has gone before: the CEDIL evaluation agenda

Date :  Wednesday 12th December 2018   

Location: London

Speaker :  Doctor Edoardo Masset

About the lecture

In this lecture I will introduce the newly established Centre of Excellence on Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL). CEDIL was established by the UK Department for International Development to develop new evaluation methods and to commission evaluation and synthesis studies in neglected areas of international development. Over its inception phase CEDIL identified key methodological evaluation challenges to address and priority thematic areas. The talk will illustrate CEDIL’s ambitious evaluation agenda over the next 5 years, and will be followed by Q&A and discussion. The Lecture will be available to view live at the link below. Live Recording

About Edoardo Masset

Before joining CEDIL, Edoardo was Deputy Director and head of the London office of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, which he joined after working for seven years as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Edoardo is an agricultural and development economist with extensive experience conducting impact evaluations, researching development interventions and consulting for a variety of institutions, including the World Bank. Edoardo also has experience of research synthesis work through a number of systematic reviews on a wide range of topics such as nutrition, health insurance and cost-effectiveness. His core research interests include rural development, child nutrition, poverty and inequality, and the analysis of household surveys.

Edoardo Massett Deputy Director CEDIL

Intervention to foster early childhood development evaluation, sustainability and scalability

Date :  Wednesday 28th November 2018

Location: London

Speaker :  Professor Orazio Attanasio

About the lecture

Early Childhood Interventions have recently received much attention.  The consensus is that ECD interventions can ‘work’ and be very effective and important.  The new challenges however are: (i) understand how interventions work and how they obtain the observed effects, through which channels, at what age, and so on, and (ii) how to scale up effective interventions. The answer to the second question is related to the answer of the first.  Orazio will present some concrete examples of these issues in this lecture. Watch the recording here

About Orazio Attanasio

Orazio is the Research Director of IFS and one of the Directors of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) and co-directs the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (EDePo).  Orazio is a Professor at UCL, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.  In 2001 he was elected Fellow of the Econometric Society and in 2004 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy and is currently President of the European Economic Association.

Uncertainty and its consequences in social policy evaluation and evidence-based decision making

Date :  Wednesday 31st October 2018

Location :  London 

Speaker :  Doctor Matthew Jukes

About the lecture

The methodologies of RCTs and systematic reviews imply a high level of rigor in evidence-based decision-making. When these standards are not met, how should decision-makers act? When a clear body of evidence is not available, there is a risk that action is delayed or that action is taken without optimal use of the existing evidence. This paper addresses the following question: what level of certainty is required for which kinds of decisions? We argue that decisions should be based on considerations of both the uncertainty and the consequences of all possible outcomes. We present a framework for making decisions on partial evidence that has implications for the generation of evidence too. More systematic analysis of uncertainty and its consequences can improve approaches to decision-making and to the generation of evidence. Watch the lecture here  Download the lecture slides here LIDC podcast on Innovative approaches to evaluation and evidence synthesis Please also see his blog post on this topic by following the link here

About Matthew Jukes

Matthew is a Fellow and Senior Education Evaluation Specialist at RTI International.  He has two decades of academic and professional experience in evaluating education projects and is contributing to projects in Malawi and Tanzania aimed at improving the quality of pre-primary and primary education in those countries.  He has also applied his research to work with the World Bank, UNAIDS, UNESCO, USAID and  Save the Children.

Using mid-level theory to understand behaviour change examples from health and evidence-based policy

Date :  Thursday 30th August 2018

Location :  New Delhi, India

Speaker :  Doctor Howard White

About the lecture

Mid-level (or mid-range) theory rests between a project-level theory of change and grand theory. The specification and testing of mid-level theories help support the generalizability and transferability of study findings. For example, in economics, the operation of the price mechanism to balance supply and demand is a grand theory. An agricultural fertilizer subsidy programme would have a project-level theory which partly draws on the theory of supply and demand (lowering price increases demand). A mid-level theory could be developed related to the use of price subsidies, of which the fertilizer programme would be a specific application. This talk will adopt the transtheoretical model of behaviour change to apply mid-level theory to the analysis of two sets of interventions: the adoption of health behaviour, and promoting evidence-based policy change. Watch the lecture here (currently in several parts) Download the lecture slides here

About Howard White

Dr White is the CEO of the Campbell Collaboration and the Research Director for CEDIL and this presentation is based on work undertaken as part of CEDIL.

Development impact attribution: Mental models and methods in 'mixed marriage' evaluations

Date :  Wednesday 18th July 2018

Location :  London

Speaker :  Professor James Copestake

About the lecture

The marriage metaphor will be used to explore collaboration that spans academic traditions and disciplines, researchers and managers, public and private sector agencies.  The idea of mental models will be used to explore the ontological, epistemological, contractual and socio-political tensions created by formalised evaluative practice.  It will focus particularly on experience with mixing qualitative impact evaluation with other approaches to generating evidence, and learning and legitimising public action.  It will draw on case studies from the garment industry, medical training, housing micro-finance and agriculture spanning three continents. Watch the recorded lecture here

About James Copestake

Prof Copestake is a professor of international development at the University of Bath.  In addition to recent work on the Qualitative Impact Protocol, his recent research has addressed contested perceptions of well-being in Peru, financial inclusion and micro-finance in India.  He has also researched the relationship between social policy and development studies, and the use of challenge funds in aid management. James Copestake portrait

Representing theories of change: Technical challenges and evaluation consequences

Date :  Wednesday 30th May 2018

Location :  London

Speaker :  Doctor Rick Davies

About the lecture

This lecture will summarise the main points of a paper of the same name.  That paper looks at the technical issues associated with the representation of Theories of Change and the implications of design choices for the evaluability of those theories.  The focus is on the description of connections between events, rather than the events themselves because this is seen as a widespread design weakness.  Using examples and evidence from a range of internet sources, six structural problems are described along with their consequences for evaluation.  The paper then outlines six different ways of addressing these problems which could be used by programme designers and evaluators.  These solutions range from simple to follow advice on designing more adequate diagrams; to the use of specialist software for the manipulation of much more complex static and dynamic network models.  The paper concludes with some caution, speculating on why the design problems are so endemic but also pointing a way forward.  Three strands of work are identified that CEDIL and DfID could invest in to develop solutions identified in the paper. Watch the recorded lecture here

About Rick Davies

Dr Davies is an independent Monitoring and Evaluation consultant and is based in Cambridge, UK.  He has managed the MandE NEWS website and email lists since 1997.

Rick Davies portrait

The four waves of the evidence revolution: Progress and challenges in evidence-based policy and practice

Date :  Wednesday 11th April 2018

Location :  London

Speaker :  Doctor Howard White

About the lecture

The evidence movement has rolled out in four waves since the 1990s : the results agenda, the rise of RCTs, systematic reviews, and developing an evidence architecture.  This revolution is uneven across sectors and countries and is an unfinished revolution.  Drawing on experiences from around the world, this talk will provide a historical overview of the evidence movement and the challenges it faces.  Response from these challenges will be considered, including those offered by the work of CEDIL. Watch the recorded lecture here

About Howard White

Dr White is the CEO of the Campbell Collaboration and the Research Director for CEDIL and this presentation is based on work undertaken as part of CEDIL.