CEDIL Methods Brief 9

Innovations in measurement and the evaluation of human behaviour

If policymakers or researchers aim to improve an intervention, scale it up, or assess why it works and for whom, then focussing solely on direct outcomes is not enough. There are several ways in which evaluations can go beyond traditional outcome measurement and explore the underlying drivers of impact and the behaviours of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

  • Measurement goes hand in hand with developing a theory of change, and the two work best when they evolve jointly: new (and better) measurements could allow the consideration of more flexible and realistic theories, while theory informs the construction and design of new measures.
  • Linking measurement to human behaviour and decision-making processes offers useful angles for identifying the  underlying drivers of an intervention’s impacts.
  • Measurement innovation and improvements—including the construction of new measures—are an important endeavour requiring cross-disciplinary input. This endeavour should be promoted.

This brief is based on the CEDIL Methods Working Paper‘Evaluation and Measurement.

Cavatorta, E. and Attanasio, O. (2022) ‘Evaluation and measurement’, CEDIL Methods Brief 9. London and Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning. https://doi.org/10.51744/CMB9

Download CEDIL Methods Brief

Download CEDIL Methods Working Paper 9

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