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The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has announced that Emmanuel (Manny) Jimenez will be the organization’s new Executive Director starting in early 2015. The selection of Jimenez represents a key transition for 3ie, which has moved quickly from start-up to maturity in just six years.
I never cease to be astonished by the amount of energy people put into claiming that Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) are the be-all and end-all of impact evaluation methods; nor at the energy people put into claiming that RCTs are marginal, costly, and a waste of time.
The spread of knowledge and ideas should help close the gap between rich countries and poor. That’s why technology transfer is one of the seven components of CGD’s Commitment to Development Index (CDI).
Proponents of the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in impact evaluation and development research often point out the close link between these trials and their clinical counterparts in the world of medical research.
I have always chafed at the idea of “capacity building” – a donor fallback in developing countries whenever progress on a donor-financed project is slow. Too much of what donors mean by capacity building has turned out to be training sessions, workshops, and nice trips of mid-level technical staff from low-income countries to Paris, London and Washington.
Last month, I was on my way to speak at an IDB sponsored conference on evaluation. Getting on the shuttle to DC I bumped into a friend of mine who is the head of a technology related company. On the plane I was telling him I was on my way to talk about the fad of doing RCTs in my field of development. He told me he had a great slide from the tech consulting company Gartner about the “Hype Cycle” in tech industries. As you see, this wonderful graphic shows a typical cycle of a tech idea or tech