Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

It's All about MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ("e") to Crawl the Design Space

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pritchett, Lant

    (Center for Global Development)

  • Samji, Salimah

    (Center for International Development, Harvard University)

  • Hammer, Jeffrey

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

There is an inherent tension between implementing organizations--which have specific objectives and narrow missions and mandates--and executive organizations--which provide resources to multiple implementing organizations. Ministries of finance/planning/budgeting allocate across ministries and projects/programs within ministries, development organizations allocate across sectors (and countries), foundations or philanthropies allocate across programs/grantees. Implementing organizations typically try to do the best they can with the funds they have and attract more resources, while executive organizations have to decide what and who to fund. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has always been an element of the accountability of implementing organizations to their funders. There has been a recent trend towards much greater rigor in evaluations to isolate causal impacts of projects and programs and more 'evidence-based' approaches to accountability and budget allocations. Here we extend the basic idea of rigorous impact evaluation--the use of a valid counterfactual to make judgments about causality--to emphasize that the techniques of impact evaluation can be directly useful to implementing organizations (as opposed to impact evaluation being seen by implementing organizations as only an external threat to their funding). We introduce structured experiential learning (which we add to M&E to get MeE) which allows implementing agencies to actively and rigorously search across alternative project designs using the monitoring data that provides real-time performance information with direct feedback into the decision loops of project design and implementation. Our argument is that within-project variations in design can serve as their own counterfactual and this dramatically reduces the incremental cost of evaluation and increases the direct usefulness of evaluation to implementing agencies. The right combination of M, e, and E provides the right space for innovation and organizational capability building while at the same time providing accountability and an evidence base for funding agencies.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=931
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp13-012.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-012

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-496-2554
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1535-1558, December.
  2. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2007. "Money for nothing: The dire straits of medical practice in Delhi, India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-36, May.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Daniel Keniston & Nina Singh, 2012. "Can Institutions be Reformed from Within? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment with the Rajasthan Police," NBER Working Papers 17912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. White, Howard, 2006. "Impact evaluation: the experience of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank," MPRA Paper 1111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Rodrik, Dani, 2008. "The New Development Economics: We Shall Experiment, but How Shall We Learn?," Working Paper Series rwp08-055, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1997. "Economic Analysis for Health Projects," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 47-71, February.
  7. Andrews, Matt & Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2013. "Escaping Capability Traps Through Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 234-244.
  8. Elizabeth M. King & Jere R. Behrman, 2009. "Timing and Duration of Exposure in Evaluations of Social Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 55-82, February.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ostrom, Elinor, 1996. "Crossing the great divide: Coproduction, synergy, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1073-1087, June.
  11. Lant Pritchett, 2002. "It pays to be ignorant: A simple political economy of rigorous program evaluation," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 251-269.
  12. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael & Andrews, Matt, 2012. "Looking Like a State: Techniques of Persistent Failure in State Capability for Implementation," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  13. Filmer, Deon & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Pritchett, Lant H, 2000. "Weak Links in the Chain: A Diagnosis of Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 199-224, August.
  14. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548, May.
  16. Denizer, Cevdet & Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2011. "Good countries or good projects ? macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5646, The World Bank.
  17. Ravallion, Martin, 2011. "On the implications of essential heterogeneity for estimating causal impacts using social experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5804, The World Bank.
  18. Hausmann, Ricardo, 2008. "The Other Hand: High Bandwidth Development Policy," Working Paper Series rwp08-060, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  19. Deon Filmer & Jeffrey S. Hammer & Lant H. Pritchett, 2002. "Weak Links in the Chain II: A Prescription for Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 47-66.
  20. Sanjeev Khagram & Craig Thomas & Catrina Lucero & Subarna Mathes, 2009. "Evidence for development effectiveness," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 247-270.
  21. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Filmer, Deon, 2013. "Incentivizing schooling for learning : evidence on the impact of alternative targeting approaches," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6541, The World Bank.
  22. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Squire, Lyn & Suthiwart-Narueput, Sethaput, 1997. "Beyond Rate of Return: Reorienting Project Appraisal," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 35-46, February.
  23. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45, February.
  24. Joshua Angrist & Ivan Fernandez-Val, 2010. "ExtrapoLATE-ing: External Validity and Overidentification in the LATE Framework," NBER Working Papers 16566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Baird, Sarah & McIntosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2009. "Designing cost-effective cash transfer programs to boost schooling among young women in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5090, The World Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Hammer, Jeffrey & Spears, Dean, 2013. "Village sanitation and children's human capital : evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6580, The World Bank.
  2. Jeffrey Hammer & Dean Spears, 2013. "Village sanitation externalities and children's human capital: Evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government," Working Papers 1443, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  3. Lant Pritchett, Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix-Working Paper 336," Working Papers 336, Center for Global Development.
  4. Michael Clemens, Gabriel Demombynes, 2013. "The New Transparency in Development Economics: Lessons from the Millennium Villages Controversy," Working Papers 342, Center for Global Development.
  5. Woolcock, Michael, 2013. "Using case studies to explore the external validity of .complex. development interventions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-012. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.