The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Impact Evaluation and Survey Methods Workshop, hosted jointly by the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), J-Pal, Sistemas Integrales and the University of Chile, brought together regional policymakers, researchers and development field staff to hone their skills in impact evaluation and survey methods. The workshop was designed to improve participants' understanding of and ability to use impact evaluations and survey methods to craft more effective development policies and programs. It was led by theStrategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), which is funded with the generous support of the British Government'sDepartment for International Development (DFID), as well as by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The purpose of the workshop was to build knowledge on the use of impact evaluation among policymakers and program managers and allow operational teams to apply this knowledge to the design and implementation of program-specific impact evaluations. With the Impact Evaluation in Practice handbook as a guide, the workshop combined intensive training in impact evaluation methods with hands-on clinics to fully integrate impact evaluations into projects related to human development issues.
Beyond the design of impact evaluations, the workshop contributed to strengthening the development effectiveness of human development and productive sector projects. Teams were challenged to clarify the results chains linking their interventions to final outcomes, as well as to develop impact evaluation designs with specific output and outcome indicators throughout the results chain. This process enhances the focus on results and ensures that actions and activities are aligned with project development objectives. It also ensures that success is appropriately measured, building a community of practice and appreciation for evidence-based decision-making in the region.
The workshop attracted more than 120 participants from 14 countries, among them: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and the USA. Workshop participants, including representatives from the World Bank, IDB, government, NGOs, and research institutions, were involved in 22 different projects.
During the workshop, participants developed or honed impact evaluations in the fields of education, health, social protection, and productive sector.
The workshop provided a platform for effective South-South exchange. Project teams had the opportunity to interact with other teams working on similar operations in the region, helping the participants exchange experiences in designing and implementing impact evaluations for large-scale development programs. The closing day consisted of presentations of evaluation designs by project teams, followed by feedback from other workshop participants. The workshop also served as an opportunity to strengthen links with a range of partner institutions, creating a strong network for knowledge sharing and professional growth.
Participants rated the course highly. On the final workshop evaluation, 97% of the respondents rated the workshop a 4 or 5 (on a 5 point scale) for overall quality and usefulness. Workshop faculty received notably high scores for "quality of the content presented" and "knowledge of the material."
Securing funding is critical for successful delivery of quality impact evaluations. The proposals developed during the workshop will seek to leverage trust fund resources in order to ensure the continuity of the work.