9th Conference AFD / EUDN
do we learn from experience in development?
March 26th, 2012
1 / Our societies’ demand for the evaluation of economic policies has been evolving alongside a growing desire for transparency and accountability of decision-makers [+]
This is within a context where persistent doubts exist regarding the efficiency of public spending. In the development sector, this is particularly apparent as development assistance has been heavily criticized due to its limited efficiency. The increasing budget constraints faced by many donors have also exacerbated the complexity of the task.
Nevertheless, the issue of evaluating public policies is neither a new idea, nor a novel practice. It becomes increasingly essential, however, to determine whether the evaluation task is properly conducted. We need to discuss whether the way evaluations are undertaken produces an accumulation of knowledge that is accessible to decision makers, or whether the context in which development policies are implemented severely reduces the usefulness of past experiences for designing future projects.
2 / Can we learn from our own and others’ experiences in the field of development? [+]
If so, how can evaluation contribute and how is it that we seem unable to translate these experiences into practice? If not, what are the factors hampering the learning process?
Such are the questions that will be addressed by top international experts in this joint AFD/EUDN conference. Each one of them will reflect upon the extent to which evaluation methods and approaches can be useful to support the learning process in development, and in the long run, contribute to experience-based and better development strategies. More particularly, issues to be covered will include the evolution of evaluative methods applied over the past 50 years and their relative efficiency, as well as reasons which account for the success and failures of some specific evaluation techniques applied to microeconomic policies and projects as well as more macroeconomic perspectives.
3 / Attention will also be drawn to the arguments for and against relatively innovative, attractive but largely debated evaluative techniques, such as experiments and impact evaluations, and indicator-based management [+]
Special attention will also be given to the different evaluative approaches and practices development aid agencies have designed and implemented to optimize the use of evaluation in their operations, and more widely in the learning process of their organizations.