How do we evaluate the impact of development funds? Is the impact of funders limited to the sum of the projects they fund? Or do they create important externalities? Do development funds share the same basic theory of change? Or are there specific elements and assumptions that are useful to articulate and track for each organisation?

2 June 2016 - 1:00pm
Speaker(s): Natalia Gavrilita and Ken Chomitz (Global Innovation Fund)

How do we evaluate the impact of development funds? Is the impact of funders limited to the sum of the projects they fund? Or do they create important externalities? Do development funds share the same basic theory of change? Or are there specific elements and assumptions that are useful to articulate and track for each organisation?

The recently-created Global Innovation Fund is exploring possible answers to these complex questions in the context of its broad mandate of accelerating the scaling of evidence-based innovations to help the World’s Poor. The Global Innovation Fund provides both grants and risk capital in any sector and any country to fund development solutions from social enterprises, for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, international organisations, researchers, and government agencies. It uses the tiered financing model to support solutions backed by rigorous evidence that can scale up commercially, through the public/philanthropic sector, or through a combination of both in order to achieve widespread adoption.

This seminar will explore the challenges and trade-offs in designing and implementing a results framework for development funds. Using the example of the Global Innovation Fund, the seminar will discuss challenges in developing a funder’s Theory of Change, particularly around articulating values and operating model and understanding pathways to impact. It will also consider options for defining and applying results and indicators, bring up questions about the costs and benefits of measurement, possible ways of measuring the public good, and aggregating impact across a portfolio of projects.

Natalia Gavrilita is an Investment Partner at the Global Innovation Fund. Natalia has extensive government and development consulting experience. Most recently, she was State Secretary at the Moldovan Ministry of Education, where she led ministry staff in implementing high-impact reforms in education financing, student assessment, and school governance. Prior to the Ministry of Education, Natalia spent several years at UK-based development consultancy Oxford Policy Management (OPM), where she worked on governance and evaluation projects.  Previously, she held senior positions in Moldova’s Government Office and Ministry of Economy. Natalia holds an M.P.P. in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Law from Moldova State University.

Ken Chomitz is the Chief Analytics Officer at the Global Innovation Fund. Before joining GIF, he was a Senior Advisor in the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank and a coauthor of the World Development Report 2016 on Digital Development.  Previously he was with the Bank’s Development Research Group. Chomitz’s work has focused on global environmental issues and on monitoring and evaluation. At IEG he led three major evaluations of the Bank Group’s work on climate change, and chaired the Independent Evaluation of the Climate Investment Funds. He was a coauthor of the Bank’s World Development Report 2003: Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World and author of At Loggerheads? Agricultural Expansion, Poverty Reduction and Environment in the Tropical Forests. Chomitz was a pioneer in econometric modeling of deforestation using remote sensing data. He has published articles on economic issues related to deforestation, biodiversity, and climate change, and has also worked on issues related to health, population, and labor. Chomitz holds a degree in mathematics from MIT and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a National Research Council Fellow at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University; and Senior Advisor with the Development Studies Project, a policy research institute associated with the Indonesian National Development Planning Board.

Location:
IDS Room 121, Institute of Development Studies
United Kingdom
Partner(s): Institute of Development Studies
Public - open to all

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