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A unique partnership

The Centre for Development Impact is an innovative partnership between Itad, UEA and IDS. We contribute to learning and innovation in the field of impact evaluation, through the use of appropriate, mixed method, and robust evaluation designs.


New Frontiers for Evaluation

As part of the International Year of Evaluation 2015 this conference will provide an opportunity to identify good impact evaluation practices and to build new evaluation coalitions for market-oriented development initiatives.


Who Counts? The Power of Participatory Statistics

Local people can generate their own numbers – and the statistics that result are powerful for themselves and can influence policy.


Testing an Uptake Theory with QCA

Policy impact is a complex process influenced by multiple factors. An intermediate step in this process is policy uptake, or the adoption of measures by policymakers that reflect research findings and recommendations.

Latest publications

This report highlights the paradox within impact investing: the prioritisation of ‘social impact’ without prioritising ‘impact evidence’.

Institute of Development Studies February 2017

This report explains the methodology used to analyse the demand for evidence and accountability within the impact investment market.

Institute of Development Studies November 2016

Impact investing – investing for social and environmental returns alongside financial returns – is a growing phenomenon in financial markets. However, concerns exist regarding the demand for robust impact evidence and accountability for impact claims when compared to a public sector aid model.

Institute of Development Studies October 2016

Upcoming events

7 January 2019 - 9:00am to 11 January 2019 - 5:00pm
Gain the skills and knowledge to more effectively design impact evaluations using a contribution analysis framing.
21 June 2018 - 12:30pm
On the 21st June 2018, the Centre for Development Impact and the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme will host a roundtable session to discuss how evaluations can be relevant for assessing interactions among the Sustainable Development Goals.
4 June 2018 - 9:00am to 8 June 2018 - 5:30pm
This course builds on the deep historical experience with participatory methods that IDS has pioneered and nurtured, and shares new frontier methods for quality implementation of participatory processes at scale (with large numbers of people and across broader geographical space) to support learning focused and complexity-aware M&E systems.

An introduction to CDI

Centre for Development Impact - Explainer

Latest blog posts

Jeremy Holland

I once edited a book on combining methods and data to get the best of all worlds in applied research  (https://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/book/10.3362/9781780440286). In the book, David Booth wrote a chapter entitled ‘strong fences make good neighbours’ which advocated for a clear demarcation between ‘acontextual’ survey-based data collection and ‘contextual’ in-depth interpretive research. Weakening that fence was asking for trouble, he argued. I saw his point then and still see it now.

August 2018
Giel Ton

My work with CDI is to help the evaluation of development impact. This implies research to detect outcomes that change in response to a project or a programme, and explore the conditions that contributed to the realisation of these effects. However, these projects and programmes are always context-dependent. Each impact study, or for this blog post, ‘effectiveness’ study, has specific characteristics that make their impact ‘unique’, which limits the usefulness of their findings to the outside world – the so-called ‘external validity’.

February 2018
Peter O'Flynn

The purpose of our research into smallholder supply chains is to increase the evidence base on the information collected and used by companies and investors who invest in them. We define smallholders as small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest keepers and fishers who manage and operate areas between one and ten hectares (FAO, 2013). In November 2017, I worked with firms in both Malawi and Kenya (while a colleague did the same in Ethiopia) to find out: 

December 2017

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