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Driving Revolutionary Ideas Into Practice

DIME Report image with globe and images of people across the globe


The World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) department aims to transform development practice through high-quality, actionable research that meets the needs of governments and practitioners. DIME’s approach demonstrates that investment in data, advanced analytics, and impact evaluation can build policy makers’ capacities, enhance governments’ functionality, and improve citizens’ lives.

This report describes new insights and promising studies from four of DIME’s research areas:

  • By optimizing infrastructure investments to counteract the effects of climate change, we demonstrate that low-cost, complementary interventions and reforms can double or even triple economic returns. 

  • By studying cash transfer, economic inclusion, and community-driven development programs, we reveal that the choices we make in addressing the pleas of the most vulnerable have dramatic consequences for their ability to extricate themselves from poverty, especially in a post-COVID context. 

  • By exploring the recent acceleration in the development and take-up of digital products and services, we show how mobile technologies, streaming, and social media can revolutionize access to information, services, and markets. 

  • By putting data, digital solutions, and artificial intelligence applications to work in the public sector, we reimagine how digital transformation can improve the efficiency and quality of public functions, with large downstream impacts on the economy.

While these examples demonstrate how much can be achieved by investing in development  research, fewer than 5 percent of current World Bank projects include an impact evaluation. However, investing less than 1 percent of development project costs into research design and data systems can optimize delivery and increase impact by more than 50 percent.

The report concludes by outlining a new vision for an iterative, test-and-adopt model at the World Bank that would maximize the impact of development financing to reduce extreme poverty and secure shared prosperity for all.

Full Report


Supported By:

Logos of DIME, UKAID, EU, Norad, Sida, WFP