10:00—11:30 AM EST

Evidence to Impact in Crisis: How Have We Measured Up During the COVID-19 Pandemic?


  • Maryam Akmal, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development 
  • Daniel Gomez Gaviria, Deputy Director, National Planning Department, Colombia 
  • Joshua Kaufman, Director, Office of Policy, USAID
  • Radha Rajkotia, Chief Research and Policy Officer, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Eunice Yaa Brimfah Ackwerh, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank


  • Sarah Rose, Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, policymakers across governments faced an urgent need to make difficult decisions in a quickly evolving environment with limited data to inform them. The evidence community scrambled to set up remote data collection to meet these critical policy demands for data and evidence. Across the globe, policymakers and research teams worked together to co-create new, often innovative ways to gather data and craft evidence-informed policy responses—in some places virtually overnight. At the same time, decision-makers are still grappling with challenging policy questions on how best to structure distance education and school re-opening, how to manage trade-offs between the health crisis and economic losses, alongside ensuring that communities' social protection needs are met.
As we look back over the last almost-year of the pandemic, it’s an important time to reflect on how research and evidence have served the policy community's response needs and what else is needed to deliver clear evidence to inform decisions—both now and in future crises. This event, co-hosted by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) will explore questions about what good partnerships between researchers and policymakers look like—and the role of donors in supporting them. We’ll also look at the kinds of quick evidence collection approaches that have shown promise and how these new forms of data collection have been able to inform policy decisions. Finally, we’ll identify the gaps in evidence for policymaking that remain under-covered, outlining a path for future progress.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to events@cgdev.org, tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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