CDI's events programme covers the key issues of impact evaluation in international development.

Our regular CDI Seminar Series invites academics, practitioners, and other experts working on impact evaluation to explore the application of a range of approaches and designs for assessing the impact of complex development and policy interventions. The seminars aim to stimulate debate between theory, methodology and practice, and in doing so, explore new frontiers and cross-disciplinary opportunities to advance the field of impact evaluation. 

CDI events are hosted mainly in the UK at the Institute of Development Studies, Itad and the University of East Anglia. Write-ups and audio recordings of many of the events, along with short interviews with speakers, are available online.


20 April 2016 - 3:30pm
According to the 2011 Census, the child sex ratio in the 0-6 age group was 918 girls to 1000 boys in India, representing a decrease from 927 in 2001. The estimate, therefore, is that between 2001 and 2011, approximately 12 million girls were lost, in large part due to practices including sex selective abortions, female infanticide, denial of food and other forms of neglect.
Speaker(s): Meera Tiwari, Susannah Pickering Saqqa, Kathryn Kraft
9 March 2016 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
This seminar will present a range of causal inference models used in scientific research that can be used to assess the impact of development programmes.
Speaker(s): Barbara Befani
18 February 2016 - 1:00pm
The past ten years have seen a surge in interest and investment in impact evaluation in development. Bulletproof numbers must justify programme investments at scale, while credible explanations of observed changes are essential to influence national policy and local responsibility for greater impact.
Speaker(s): Adinda Van Hemelrijck and Irene Guijt
10 February 2016 - 1:00pm
Technological innovation in agriculture can be an important source of productivity gains, and agricultural research has correspondingly been the focus of many development efforts. Theory shows that in some contexts, innovation has the potential to generate improvements in income and well-being for rural households and the poor. But many innovations are not readily adopted by farmers, and in some cases, agricultural innovation can lead to negative outcomes or at least uneven impacts.
Speaker(s): Professor Doug Gollin
10 December 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
This seminar, presented by Bridget Fenn, will briefly cover the background to the Research on Food Assistance for Nutritional Impact (REFANI) Pakistan study, outline the study design and present some baseline results and some of the issues running RCTs in humanitarian settings.
Speaker(s): Bridget Fenn
23 April 2015 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm
In this seminar, Rob D. van den Berg proposes an approach to ‘3D impact analysis’ which starts from the recognition that demand for impact evidence is wide ranging and should be analysed structurally before it can be met by evaluations. This will become more important with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals that ask for a more holistic and integrated perspective of development.
Speaker(s): Rob van den Berg
19 February 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
In this Centre for Development Impact seminar, Richard Longhurst (IDS) and Sarah Mistry (BOND) will highlight the importance of evaluability assessments for development projects, as well as discussing the suitability of various evaluation methods that are available to a manager.
Speaker(s): Richard Longhurst, Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies (IDS),
19 November 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
In this seminar, we discuss why we may need Impact Assessment (for reasons of accountability and the rational allocation of scarce resources on a global scale) but also the associated risks that need to be managed. We reject simplistic solutions (for example that we use only participatory or bottom up approaches) and invite an open discussion about how best to put Impact Evaluation in its place.
Speaker(s): Tom Ling
14 November 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
This seminar will reflect on the twin methodological and political economy problems (of competitive selection and the issue of how success or failure to realise theoretical gains is empirically assessed, and how such evidence is acted upon). We will thereby explore the political potency of different cocktails of bounded rationality and warm glow.
Speaker(s): James Copestake
15 October 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
This Centre for Development Impact seminar will draw on IDS research experience to explore the process of developing an appropriate evaluation approach within the given contextual setting. Context-specific challenges that influenced the choice of the different evaluation methods and approaches will be highlighted and addressed.
Speaker(s): Inka Barnett
15 May 2014 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
This seminar will present an overview of evaluation practice as typically commissioned by domestic UK Government departments. It will focus on the role of randomised control trials (RCTs), discussing in details some of the high profile studies of recent years. It will highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of RCTs.
Speaker(s): Stephen Morris
1 May 2014 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Since the early 1990s there has been a quiet tide of innovation in generating statistics using participatory methods. Development practitioners are supporting and facilitating participatory statistics from community-level planning right up to sector and national-level policy processes. Statistics are being generated in the design, monitoring and evaluation, and impact assessment of development interventions. The challenge laid down is to foster institutional change on the back of the methodological breakthroughs and philosophical commitment. The prize is a win–win outcome in which statistics are a part of an empowering process for local people and part of a real-time information flow for those aid agencies and government departments willing to generate statistics in new ways.
Speaker(s): Jeremy Holland

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