4:00—5:30 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L St, NW
- Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036

How to Measure Development Outcomes Using Geospatial Data for Impact Evaluation


Ariel BenYishay, Chief Economist, AidData and Assistant Professor, College of William & Mary 


Agustina Paglayan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Global Development

When RCTs are not an option, geospatial data can be a powerful tool for evaluating development projects – opening up opportunities to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why - at a substantially lower time and cost.

Dr. Ariel BenYishay will provide an overview of the growing field of geospatial impact evaluation highlighting how the increasing availability of geo-referenced intervention and outcome data offers many new opportunities for research and evaluation across the development field that can be just as (if not more) effective as randomized control trials (RCTs). Dr. BenYishay will share a recent case study using geospatial data that measured the impacts of Chinese development activities on sensitive forests in Tanzania and Cambodia between 2000 and 2014 that shows how powerful this tool can be.

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