From Evidence to Policy - Innovations in Shaping Reforms in Africa
July 21-24, 2015Cape Town, South Africa

This four-day learning event brought together policymakers, academics, civil society representatives, and development partners to discuss innovations in the use of evidence to inform policy design in Africa. The event featured a 2-day conference (July 21-22) and a 2-day training (July 23-24).

Addressing global development issues often requires effective policy reforms. Some of these reforms are justified from a fiscal and macroeconomic perspective, but may have unintended impacts on different groups of the population, particularly the poor and most vulnerable. Reforms have costs and benefits which are usually distributed unequally across different groups of the population.

Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) is a versatile approach to assess the distributional and social impacts of policy reforms on different groups, with emphasis on the poor and vulnerable. This analysis offers insights into different policy options, supports the decision making process, can help mitigate potential negative impacts and identify pathways to more inclusive reforms.

This learning event brought together policymakers, academics, civil society representatives, and development partners to discuss innovations in the use of evidence to inform policy design in Africa. The event featured:

·         2-day conference (July 21-22) with keynote addresses, presentations and panel discussions, including examples of reforms in health, tax reform, agriculture, subsidy reform, social protection and utility price reform.

·         2-day training (July 23-24) on methods and tools for PSIA with presentations, case studies and hands-on activities, and ample space for peer learning and interaction among participants.

This event was part of the knowledge activities supported by the PSIA Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) in the World Bank. For more information contact Simona Palummo (

Presentations from the event are available on the PSIA Online Community platform at (conference) (training)


Conference Agenda

MC: Africa Melane, Presenter, Cape Talk

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

8:00 – 9:00 am

Registration and Coffee

9:00 – 9:30 am


Prof. Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town


Punam Chuhan-Pole, Acting Chief Economist Africa, World Bank 

9:30 – 10:30 am

KEYNOTE 1:  The challenge of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in Africa – Relevance of PSIA

Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa

Chair: Punam Chuhan-Pole, Acting Chief Economist Africa, World Bank

10:30 – 11:00 am

Coffee break

11:15 am – 12:45 pm

SESSION 1: How PSIAs can contribute to effective policy making

Panel with short introductory remarks followed by moderated discussion that addresses questions from the    audience. Speakers share their experiences on how PSIAs can contribute to better policy reforms.

Chair: Olebile Gaborone, Permanent Secretary for Poverty Eradication, Office of the President,  Botswana

An introduction to PSIA

Maria Beatriz Orlando, Program Manager PSIA MDTF - PRESENTATION

Inclusive growth model of Himachal Pradesh

Shrikant Baldi, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance and Planning, Government of Himachal Pradesh, India

Regional road transport in West Africa

David Cal MacWilliam, Senior Economist, World Bank

Performance and Expenditure Reviews: a quick resolution to lenghty problems

Ronette Engela, Head of Performance and Expenditure Reviews, Government Technical Advisory Centre     (GTAC), National Treasury, South Africa

12:45 pm – 2:15 pm


2:15 – 3:30 pm

KEYNOTE 2:  Measuring the effects of policy reform on well-being

James Foster, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University

Chair: Ingrid Woolard, Professor of Economics, University of Cape Town

Discussant: Ambar Narayan, Lead Economist, World Bank

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Coffee break

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

SESSION 2: Innovations in methods for PSIA #1

Expert presentations on select tools and methods of analysis, followed by Q&A.

Chair and Discussant: Laura Poswell, Executive Director, J-PAL Africa

Building resilience in the West African Sahel

Andrew Dabalen, Lead Economist, World Bank

Female traders in Eastern DRC

Edouard Mensah, Consultant, World Bank

Identifying women’s preferences to increase attendance at birth

Juliette Puret, Health Economist, World Health Organization

6:30 pm

Welcome reception and dinner

Wednesday, July 22

8:30 – 9:00 am


9:00 – 9:15 am

Welcome and Overview for Day 2

9:15 – 10:30 am

KEYNOTE 3:  Making it happen – the political economy of policy reform

Leonard Wantchekon, Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Chair: Pablo Fajnzylber, Practice Manager, World Bank

Discussant: Maitreyi Das, Global Lead for Social Inclusion, World Bank

10:30 – 11:00 am

Coffee break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

SESSION 3: Engaging stakeholders and navigating reforms

Talk-show style discussion highlighting examples of effective partnerships and inclusive stakeholder              consultations. The session closes with Q&A.

Chair and moderator: Maria Beatriz Orlando, Program Manager PSIA MDTF

Universal price subsidies in Cameroon

Carlo del Ninno, Senior Economist, World Bank

Privatization of the Coffee Sector in Burundi

Marius Bucumi, Technical Director, Coffee Sector Regulator Agency, Burundi

Enhancing poverty-orientation and local governance of the Locality Development Fund in Sudan

Mosllem Ahmed Alamir, Senior Economist, World Bank

12:15 – 1:00 pm


1:00 – 2:00 pm

LUNCHTIME KEYNOTE: Challenges for producing and using evidence to inform policy making in       Africa - and what can be done

Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Public Policy, University of Oxford

Chair and Discussant: Catriona Purfield, Program Leader, World Bank

2:00 – 3:15 pm

SESSION 4: Innovations in methods for PSIA #2

Expert presentations on select tools and methods of analysis, followed by Q&A.

Chair and Discussant: Gabriela Inchauste, Lead Economist, World Bank

Municipal ICT capacity and its impact on the climate-change affected urban poor in Mozambique

Gaurav Relhan, ICT Specialist, World Bank

North Africa regional study on subsidies

Paolo Verme, Senior Economist, World Bank

Fiscal policy and the reduction of inequality in South Africa

Ingrid Woolard, Professor, School of Economics, University of Cape Town

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Coffee break

3:45 – 5:15 pm

CLOSING PANEL – Lessons learned and an agenda for moving forward

Chair and moderator: Pippa Green, Communication Manager, Research Project on Employment, Income    Distribution and Inclusive Growth, SALDRU

Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Public Policy, University of Oxford

Shrikant Baldi, Principal Secretary, Department of Finance and Planning, Government of Himachal Pradesh, India

Leonard Wantchekon, Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Maitreyi Das, Global Lead for Social Inclusion, World Bank


Last Updated: Jul 21, 2015


There will be two parallel streams: Social (S) and Poverty (P)

Thursday, July 23

9:00 - 9:45 am

Introduction to the training. Objectives, logistics. 

9:45 - 10:45 am

Social impacts in PSIA (joint session)

Maria Beatriz Orlando

This session will familiarize participants with the social aspects in PSIA. It will start by illustrating why the analysis of social impacts is key to successful policy design and implementation. The session will then introduce the key elements of good social analysis and how they can be studied. The session will close with examples of good practice social analysis in PSIAs and describe how this analysis contributed to successful policy making.

10:45 - 11:15 am

Coffee break

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

Parallel session 1

(S) Mixed methods

Maitreyi Das

This session will provide an introduction to mixed methods research in order to familiarize participants with the benefits of combining qualitative and quantitative methods in poverty and social impact analysis. The session will start with an overview of qualitative and quantitative methods, and then, use examples to illustrate the benefits of merging, connecting and embedding different types of data and methods at various phases of research. The session will also provide examples of mixed methods designs and discuss how they can help study questions that purely qualitative or purely quantitative approaches may not sufficiently address.


(P) Understanding the distributional impacts of fiscal and social policies

Gabriela Inchauste and Emily Sinnott

This session will first present fiscal incidence analysis, aimed at assessing the distributional impact of tax and spending using the Commitment to Equity methodology. The focus is to determine if a policy is progressive/regressive, and to measure the impact on poverty and inequality. Second, using a different approach the session will examine equity issues and spending choices in education, health and social protection and give some recommendations on planning social spending across the economic cycle.

12:45 - 2:00 pm


2:00 - 3:30 pm

Parallel session 2

(S) Qualitative analysis

Lisa Schmidt

This session will provide an introduction to qualitative research methods to enable participants to use them or commission their application in their PSIAs. Using examples, the session will give an overview of the qualitative tools that are available for PSIA-type analysis and illustrate for which purposes different tools can be used and how they can be implemented. Finally, the session will present in more detail the steps that are involved in conducting Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and stakeholder analysis - two of the most commonly used qualitative tools in PSIA.

(P) Simulation tools to assess the impact of policy changes

Paolo Verme

The session will introduce the audience to the basic concepts of policy simulations. It will then review some of the main instruments in use at the World Bank and elsewhere for policy simulations such as CGE and micro simulation models highlighting differences and complementarities. It will conclude with a few examples in the context of price simulations.

   3:30 - 4:00 pm

Coffee break

4:00 - 5:30 pm

Parallel session 3

(S) Subjective well-being: concepts and measurement

Juan Carlos Parra

This session will provide an introduction to the concept and measurement of subjective well-being, focusing on its usefulness for policy making. On measurement of subjective well-being, validity, principles and techniques will be discussed. Examples of measurement of different dimensions of subjective well-being will be provided together with sources of questions and data. PSIAs that illustrate the use of subjective well-being to influence policy decisions will be presented. The session will close with responses to the most common questions/critiques on the use of subjective well-being.

(P) PSIA with SWIFT and Market Accessibility Index

Nobuo Yoshida

This session will present two innovative tools for PSIA analysis along with developing country examples. First, SWIFT is a new household survey instrument that can monitor poverty, growth, and inequality in a quick, cheap, and user-friendly manner. If no recent data is available, SWIFT can be used to collect data quickly, with which PSIA can be conducted. Second, the session will present a model that can simulate the impact of transport investment on poverty. This tool combines poverty maps with a market accessibility index, developed from highly disaggregated GIS road network data, to show how improving market accessibility through transport investment affects poverty.

Friday, July 24

9:00 – 9:30 am

Introduction to Scalar Thinking and case study

9:30 – 11:00 am

Case study

Juan Carlos Parra and Sarosh Sattar

The case study will be developed in groups and will allow participants to apply the concepts and tools that were discussed during the first day of training.

a)      theory of change behind the reform and identification of potentially affected groups and impacts at different scales (country, region, community, household, individual)

b)      preparation of ToR to study the impacts on a particular group specifying

- research questions

- data requirements and collection methods

                - tools/type of analysis

11:00 – 11:30 am

Coffee break

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Presentation of groups’ findings

12:30 – 2:00 pm


2:00 – 3:00 pm

Certificates Ceremony





Event Details
  • Date: July 21-24, 2015
  • Venue: The River Club, Liesbeek Parkway & Observatory Road, Observatory, Cape Town 7925 - South Africa
  • RSVP: Cecilia Sizondiwe Moyo -