Innovations in evaluation of rural development projects: the experience of IFAD's Independent Office of Evaluation
An article by Oscar A. Garcia, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) and Hansdeep Khaira, Evaluation Officer, IOE, was recently published in the second issue of “eVALUation Matters”, a quarterly publication of Independent Development Evaluation of the African Development Bank Group. The magazine provides different perspectives and insights on evaluation and development issues.
Innovation in the way evaluations are conducted is gaining importance. A host of factors are responsible for this: an emphasis on collecting stronger evidence for accountability purposes, advancements in technology and computational power, and a change in perspective concerning the role of beneficiaries in programme evaluations.
This article presents three examples of innovations used by the IOE. These include geo-spatial analysis as a means for data triangulation, genetic matching methods in quasi-experimental ex-post impact evaluations, and SenseMaker - a qualitative participatory technique that involves programme beneficiaries. As the results obtained from these three methods have been satisfactory, this article suggests that expanding the use of these successful innovations, in addition to forging partnerships with experts and sharing experiences, are all key ingredients to mainstreaming innovations in evaluations.