The Politics of Results and Evidence in International Development: important new book

Duncan Green - August 5, 2015

The results/value for money steamroller grinds on, with aid donors demanding more attention to measurement of impact. At first sight that’s a good thing – who could be against achieving results and knowing whether you’ve achieved them, right? Step forward Ros Eyben, Chris Roche, Irene Guijt and Cathy Shutt, who take a more sceptical look in a new book, The Politics of Results and Evidence …

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Measuring the difficult stuff (empowerment, resilience) and learning from the results; where has Oxfam got to?

Duncan Green - December 3, 2014

I’m not generally a big fan of measurement fetishism (too crude, too blind to complexity and systems thinking). When I used to (mis)manage the Oxfam research team and wanted a few thousand quid for some research grant, I had to list numbers of beneficiaries (men and women). As research is a global public good, I always put 3.5bn of each. No-one ever queried it. But …

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Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think?

Duncan Green - June 16, 2014

I’m definitely not a stats geek, but every now and then, I get caught up in some of the nerdy excitement generated by measuring the state of the world. Take today’s launch (in London, but webstreamed) of a new ‘Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2014’ for example – it’s fascinating. This is the fourth MPI (the first came out in 2010), and is again produced by …

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Voices of the Hungry; killer indicators, and how to measure the social determinants of health. New thinking on measurement with Gallup Inc.

Duncan Green - February 4, 2014

About once a year, I head off for the plush, Thames-side offices of Gallup Inc, for a fascinating update on what they’re up to on development-related topics. In terms of measurement, they often seem way ahead of the aid people, for example, developing a rigorous annual measurement of well-being across 147 countries. Not quite sure why they talk to me – maybe as part of the …

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How should a post-2015 agreement measure poverty? Vote for your preferred methodology

admin - June 21, 2013

The blog’s been insufficiently techie of late, so step forward ODI’s Emma Samman with a piece + poll on measurement. Maybe the start of a ‘Friday geek ‘ series? Some one in five people today still cannot provide for their most basic needs, progress on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 (to halve extreme poverty and hunger) notwithstanding. The High-Level Panel report affirms that ‘eradicating extreme …

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Should poverty be defined by a single international poverty line, or country by country? (and what difference does it make?)

admin - July 24, 2012

This guest post comes from ubercrunchers Ugo Gentilini (World Food Programme), left and Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies), right International poverty lines are calculated by the World Bank: $1.25 per day per person is said to represent the ‘absolute poverty line’, below which a person can hardly survive. This is calculated from the mean of the national poverty lines for the poorest 15 countries. A …

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Can we demonstrate effectiveness without bankrupting our NGO and/or becoming a randomista?

admin - September 9, 2011

Back in March there was a fascinating exchange on this blog between Ros Eyben and Claire Melamed on the role of measurement in development work (my commentary on that debate here). Now one of Oxfam’s brightest bean counters (aka ‘Programme Effectiveness Adviser’), Karl Hughes, explains where Oxfam has got to on this: Eric Roetman, in a recent 3ie working paper, A can of worms? Implications …

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