ALL-IN Capacity Building Training on Policy Impact Evaluation held in Ethiopia

Many national and international organizations are investing scarce financial, human, and material resources to improve the livelihood of the poor in developing countries. Ethiopia has also been implementing different policies and programs to promote economic growth and support the poor. Understanding the impact of these policies, regardless of the political regime and remit of the policy/development program, will help to improve, reorient, or scale up the program/ policy.

This requires local capacity that can undertake rigorous impact evaluations. We believe that Ethiopia faces a major intellectual challenge in this regard. Against this background, the School of Economics at the University of Gondar (UoG) is committed to contribute to enhancing the impact evaluation research capacity of researchers and academicians in Ethiopia.

Consequently, the School of Economics organized a four-day Impact Evaluation training in Gondar in collaboration with Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) and the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED). Forty-one selected postgraduate students and academic staff comprising 28 from University of Gondar {7 Female and 21 Male}, 13 from 9 different Ethiopian Universities {4 Female and 9 Male} out of over 150 individual applicants from different Ethiopian Universities benefited from the training programme.

The objectives of the training were to:

  • enhance the research capacity through advancing rigorous Impact Evaluation experiences of academic staff/researchers in Ethiopia.
  • create strong networking among researchers, postgraduate students, and university staffs all over Ethiopia
  • bring together researchers with interest and experience in impact evaluation from higher institutions in Ethiopia.

Excellent and well experienced trainers were drawn from ICED, UoG, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), University of California Davis, Addis Ababa University (AAU), Policy Studies Institute (PSI), Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU). Introduction to RCT, causal inference and counterfactuals, saturation design, sample size determination and power analysis, theory of change, spillovers, compliance, and attrition amongst others were some of the training contents delivered by the trainers.

Opening the training, Dr. Solomon Zena Walelign Principal Investigator of the ALL-IN-Large Scale Land Transactions (LSLTs) briefly introduced the project’s objective, the funding institution, the team member, and the future plan. Solidarity messages were delivered by the Academic Vice President, Dean of College of Business and Economics and Head of School of Economics all of UoG.

“The speeches and the presentations”, according to the Principal Investigator, “motivated participants to work on rigorous evidence-based impact evaluation study and to create big network for research”.

Impact of the Training

The training assessed the impact of the training by a pre- and post-training surveys, which were conducted just before the start and just after the end of the training, respectively. This exercise enables to judge the immediate impact of the training on the impact evaluation knowledge of the trainees. Thirty-five trainees participated in both surveys. It was found that the average score of 18.5 and 28.57 (of the maximum possible 48 points) in the pre- and post-training surveys, respectively. This reveals that the training increased the impact evaluation knowledge of the trainees by 10 points.

Learning

From the training we learned that:

  • from the number of applications there is high impact evaluation training demand. This calls for collaboration work with research institutions, funding institutions and decision/ policy makers to provide continuous training to meet the high demand for impact evaluation training.
  • collaboration among University of Gondar, CEGA, ICED and ALL-IN-LSLTs in this Impact Evaluation Training and the milestones achieved by the training are a good lesson to continue this collaboration.
  • the training impact evaluation study result brings further motivation to work jointly and bring remarkable change in the impact evaluation knowledge of trainees.

At the end of the training, both the trainers (Certification of Appreciation) and the trainees (Certification of Participation) were provided with certificates.

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