ODE collaborates with international leaders in analysis of aid effectiveness and impact to bring international experience and learning to the Australian aid program.
ODE established a two year collaborative agreement with the Brookings Institution in June 2010 in support of the Aid Effectiveness Initiative, housed within the Global Economy and Development program. Led by Senior Fellow Homi Kharas, the Initiative examines trends in today’s aid industry, analyses the players and their incentives and effectiveness, and engages in high-level dialogue with key donors and recipients to improve the development outcomes of aid. With its extensive influence and networks within the international development community, the Initiative will play a key role in informing high-level policy dialogue about how to improve aid and development effectiveness at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in November 2011 and in the lead up to 2015, the end year for the Millennium Development Goal targets.
ODE will provide US$800,000 in funding over the life of the agreement, with a portion of this funding allocated to activities of specific relevance to the Australian aid program.
Current work program
Brookings and ODE are undertaking a number of mutually beneficial activities, including a major research piece on taking activities to scale in fragile and weak capacity contexts. The report from this research was published by Brookings in September 2011.
- More about taking activities to scale in fragile and weak capacity contexts
- More about the research report
On 24–30 March 2011 Johannes Linn and Laurence Chandy visited AusAID to road-test their initial findings and showcase their pioneering research on how to design aid activities that can be brought to scale. The visit also provided a valuable opportunity for Brookings to share their insights into the key themes for HLF-4.
- More about Johannes Linn and Laurence Chandy, and Brooking's work with ODE [PDF 82kb]
More about Johannes Linn and Laurence Chandy, and Brooking's work with ODE [Word 1.2mb]
Key information from the visit:
- Podcast on Bringing Activities to Scale, by Johannes Linn
- Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005–2015 (external website)
ODE established a three year partnership with the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) Regional Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) in April 2011. CLEAR is a global initiative, newly established by the IEG, which aims to strengthen developing country capacity in monitoring and evaluation and performance management.
CLEAR has established three regional centres in South Africa (Johannesburg), India (Chennai) and China (Shanghai), and plans to establish two further centres in Latin America and Francophone Africa.
ODE will provide A$1 million in core funding to CLEAR over the life of the agreement. The key result of ODE funding will be greater participation of countries in the Asia–Pacific region in CLEAR activities, with funds supporting the Asia Pacific Finance and Development Center (APFDC) in Shanghai in the short term.
- Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) (external website)
- Regional Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) (external website)
ODE established a one year partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) in May 2011.
CAPE helps to shape and drive the agenda for international development assistance, as well as efficient and effective public spending for development at country level. Its recent focus has been on addressing how international financial systems need to be adapted to tackle financial instability in donor and developing countries, how evidence, lessons and guidance can be strengthened for public finance management reform in fragile states, and how to better address demands for climate change financing.
ODE has provided A$300,000 in core funding to deliver CAPE's forward work program, focused on delivery of CAPE's Budget Strengthening Initiative technical assistance and policy research (including research on public financial management reform in fragile and post-fragile states), and work on aligning aid to country systems and policies.
This agreement will also play a key role in informing high-level policy dialogue about how to improve aid effectiveness at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in November 2011 in Busan, Korea.
- Overseas Development Institute (ODI) (external website)
- Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) (external website)
ODE became a member of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) in October 2009, contributing $2.2 million over two years. 3ie was formed in June 2008 to fill the ‘evidence gap’ in development policy.
The Evaluation Gap
“…after decades in which development agencies have disbursed billions of dollars for social programs, and developing country governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have spent hundreds of billions more, it is deeply disappointing to recognize that we know relatively little about the net impact of most of these social programs. Addressing this gap, and systematically building evidence about what works in social development, would make it possible to improve the effectiveness of domestic spending and development assistance by bringing vital knowledge into the service of policymaking and program design.”
Centre for Global Development, When will we ever learn? Improving lives through impact evaluation. Report of the Evaluation Gap Working Group May 2006.
3ie aims to increase development effectiveness through better use of evidence for policy-making in developing countries. It funds impact evaluation around the world, asking what development programs work, what don’t, and why. 3ie works directly with policy-makers to provide answers about the impact of large-scale development programs.
What do 3ie impact evaluations focus on?
To answer: what works, how, and in what circumstances?
3ie evaluations determine the attribution of development outcomes to a particular program. They establish the cause and effect between policies and programs, and explore both intended and unintended outcomes.
By contributing to a pooled fund for impact evaluation, AusAID supports an efficient way to answer the enduring questions of development, which benefits a wide range of developing country partners and donors. AusAID’s investment also helps to direct 3ie’s focus towards our partners in the Asia-Pacific, and brings back the latest international knowledge on impact evaluation to support evaluations in AusAID.
Discussion paper: 3ie and the Funding of Impact Evaluation
ODE commissioned Dr Rick Davies, a monitoring and evaluation specialist, to write a discussion paper to inform 3ie’s members about 3ie’s approach to funding of impact evaluations.
- Visit the 3ie website (external website)
- See a searchable database of 3ie’s funded evaluations (external website)
- See the 3ie strategic documents (external website)
- What is impact evaluation, and when and how should it be used for good policy? [PDF 280kb]
- Social protection programs in Indonesia—an impact evaluation [PDF 2mb]
- Nutrition, care and education in China—an impact evaluation [PDF 4mb]
- Lao irrigation improvement project in Thailand [PDF 1mb]
18 September, 2012