The World Bank's Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), in partnership with the Korea Development Institute (KDI), organized a five-day training workshop for World Bank project teams from South Asia to improve understanding of impact evaluation and use evidence generated for more effective programs and policies.
The workshop in Seoul was attended by 122 people, among them 55 senior government officials involved in World Bank-led project teams in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Vietnam. This included nine project teams in education, two in health, two in water and sanitation, and one each in microfinance, social protection and conditional cash transfers. The government officials, along with World Bank country staff, joined the workshop in order to learn more about incorporating impact evaluation research into their project’s design and to work on specific evaluation plans.
Among the participants were 36 graduate students from KDI’s affiliated KDI School of Public Policy and Management, which offers Masters programs for junior and midlevel government civil servants from Korea and developing countries. The students were picked in a competitive process to attend the workshop. More than half those attending worked in government ministries in Pakistan, Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt before coming to KDI.
“Impact evaluation can create accountability and strengthen our institutions in Ghana,” said Felix Ankhra, who took a leave of absence from the Ghana Ministry of Finance to get a Masters at KDI. He joined the workshop with a plan to create and evaluate a program to bring financial services to rural farmers in Ghana. “We’re in Korea because we want to learn good policies so we can go back and apply this knowledge in our own countries.”
Participants were split into technical and policymaker tracks and worked with World Bank experts and KDI faculty to design impact evaluations for their projects.
SIEF, which funds impact evaluation research projects and promotes use of evidence by policymakers and development groups, incorporated video into its training and used interactive sessions to engage participants.
“This has been very useful for me,” said DFID officer Neelofar Javaid, who works in Islamabad and is implementing a voucher program to boost school enrollment in urban Karachi. “Although we’ve already done the design of the impact evaluation, I need to understand the details of the impact evaluation going forward.”
SIEF currently supports close to two dozen projects, most in IDA countries, in four clusters: early childhood development and nutrition, education, health systems and water and sanitation. SIEF supports regional workshops like these to train policy makers, researchers, and development staff in the nuts and bolts of impact evaluations and promotes the evidence that helps policymakers design better programs to deliver services to the poor. SIEF also works closely with World Bank units to knowledge-share impact evaluation evidence and develop country specific workshops for policymakers.
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