The use of impact evaluations has rapidly increased in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, with estimates reaching up to 250 completed or on-going impact studies in the region. Increased knowledge and awareness of African impact evaluation projects can enhance the quality of these projects, as well as long-term economic research capacity in the region.
The goal of the AGRODEP Impact Evaluation Network (AIEN) is to disseminate information regarding impact evaluation in Africa and to facilitate discussion and resource-sharing among local, regional, and international researchers.
In a majority of cases, local African researchers are rarely or only weakly involved in these studies, usually in a data collection or research assistance capacity.
Greater participation of local researchers can help lift some of the constraints that African researchers face with respect to resources, publication outlets, and access to policymakers and can enhance long-term economic research capacities in the region. In turn, involvement of local African researchers may help improve the quality of impact evaluation studies, thanks to these researchers’ knowledge and understanding of local conditions and phenomena.
While most agree on the need to further involve local researchers in the conduct of impact evaluation studies, donors, NGOs, policymakers, and international researchers often highlight the lack of information needed to identify reliable local research partners. On their side, local researchers also lack information regarding completed, on-going, or forthcoming studies; training opportunities; calls for proposals, etc.
Thus, the goal of the AGRODEP Impact Evaluation Network is to gather and disseminate the information needed for local supply and international demand for impact evaluations to meet. This network relies on active contribution by all parties willing to encourage greater involvement of local researchers in impact evaluation studies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The AGRODEP Impact Evaluation Network encompasses a dynamic list of well-qualified local researchers who are deemed capable of being Principal Investigators for impact evaluation studies. Updated on an ongoing basis, this group draws from AGRODEP members on the recommendations of local, regional, and international experts and provides credible, reliable information regarding high-level African researchers whose expertise can improve the quality of impact evaluation studies in the region.
Several members of the AIEN have participated in AGRODEP's training courses on Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Development Interventions.
AGRODEP has hosted the following courses and workshops for the Impact Evaluation Network:
Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Development Interventions I (May 13-18, 2013)
Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Development Interventions II (December 16-20, 2013)
Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Development Interventions III (June 2-6, 2014)
Impact Evaluation Network Workshop (March 7-8, 2016)