Impact evaluation of the SHARPE project in Ethiopia

Programme of work

Evaluating complex interventions

Principal investigator(s)

Alan de Brauw

Host institution

International Food Policy Research Institute


February 2020 to April 2022 (TBC)

Project type




Research question

The study will evaluate the impact of the Ethiopia—Strengthening Host and Refugee Populations (SHARPE) project, a humanitarian intervention that will use a market systems approach to improve livelihoods between both refugees and host populations near three refugee camps in Ethiopia. Choices about specific sectors for the intervention will be made collaboratively between the research team and SHARPE. The team proposes to learn about the causal chain within the project theory of change for targeted market sectors in collaboration with SHARPE’s implementing partner.

Research design

The study will use a mixed-method approach including randomised encouragements around market interventions with sub-experiments to facilitate quick lessons and inform mid-level theory.

Randomised encouragement is particularly suitable for evaluating market systems, to inform the role of individual components and interactions between them.

Data source

The study will use:

  1. Administrative records of camp inhabitants and members of the surrounding community where available, augmented with own baseline listings where necessary; and
  2. Implement encouragement or information campaigns about these programmes or opportunities in the form of local community meetings, household visits or phone messages.

Policy relevance

The study will:

  1. Build evidence on SHARPE’s market systems for resilience approach to interventions in refugee populations and host communities to help drive the dialogue around new ways to intervene in protracted refugee situations; and
  2. Ensure the costs associated with those interventions are well understood and directly compared with the costs of other humanitarian interventions in protracted refugee situations, helping with better intervention design.