All CDI blog posts are written by members of the CDI team or those working on projects in connection with CDI who can offer a personal analysis of development impact research and practice. The views expressed in these blogs may not represent those of CDI. Please do join the debate by 'commenting' on our blogs. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #cdimpact and #impact eval. 

Blog Posts

Peter O'Flynn

September and October were very busy months in terms of CDI operations! We went on a couple of trips – to Sweden and Ghana – which have helped us in developing our thinking and learning on social impact.

November 2016
Chris Barnett

Those of us who undertake evaluations know what if feels like to be in a contested space, sometimes all too painfully! There are funders who push back on findings, project staff who want conclusions to appear less severe, or competing perspectives from different review groups and committees. If handled well – and with adequate protection of the evaluator’s independence – this contestation and deliberation can be a valuable process for improving quality.

November 2016
Peter O'Flynn

CDI’s network has been growing fast. Last month we conducted our first ever survey of the 3,500 email subscribers in our community (from 9th to 22nd August) – a huge thank you to all those who participated.

September 2016
Peter O'Flynn

In the last fifteen years a new generation of investors and fund managers has emerged seeking social and environmental returns alongside financial returns. But who are the key players?

July 2016
Peter O'Flynn

PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS BLOG VIA TWITTER! – Read on to find out why. 

July 2016
Chris Barnett

Earlier this month, I was at 3ie’s Evidence Week 2016, and on a panel discussing ethics in evaluation alongside Heather Lanthorn (IDInsights) and Penny Hawkins (UK Department for International Development).

April 2016
Richard Longhurst, Peter Wichmand, Burt Perrin

The term 'evaluability assessment (EA)' is hardly one to start the mind racing and the heart beating. And if 'institutionalising within monitoring and evaluation frameworks’ is added, readers’ eyes probably glaze over very quickly.  This all sounds like yet more jargon brewed up by the evaluation profession. But the newly published CDI Practice Paper entitled ‘Building Evaluability Assessments into Institutional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Frameworks’ fits in nicely with the developing work on assessing ‘complexity in practice’.

March 2016
Keetie Roelen

In one of the most popular TED talks, Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie argues that ‘The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story’. Although this comment is grounded in stories told in literature, the quote is equally relevant for researchers collecting and analysing data.

March 2016
Irene Guijt, Adinda van Hemelrijck

A narrow definition of rigour has long stood as the unchallenged principal standard that impact evaluation had to fulfil. Yet this standard alone has hindered the ability of evaluation to deal with complexity and to benefit from stakeholder engagement. Other standards, notably inclusiveness and feasibility, have stepped forth as important to increase the utility of impact evaluation.

February 2016
Katharina Welle

There are quite a few ‘new kids on the block’ of impact evaluation designs and methods in Elliot Stern’s Impact Evaluation guide for Commissioners and Managers.  One of them is qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), a research method that was originally developed in the 1980s in the political sciences and sociology to carry out complex comparisons between different countries or societies.

January 2016