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Conducting influential impact evaluations in China: the experience of the Rural Education Action Project


  • Matthew Boswell
  • Scott Rozelle
  • Linxiu Zhang
  • Chengfang Liu
  • Renfu Luo
  • Yaojiang Shi


Impact evaluation has become an increasingly integral part of development project design and execution in recent years. Many questions remain, however, about what methods yield the most compelling evaluations, and how best to implement them. The Rural Education Action Project (REAP) is among the most successful impact evaluation groups currently operating in China. The goal of this paper is to share five practical strategies that REAP has employed to maximize the effectiveness of its impact evaluations. These strategies include the use of randomization and other experimental and quasi experimental research designs; pursuit of local and international collaboration; strict attention to policy relevance; a modular, incremental research approach; and robust outreach.
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Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Boswell & Scott Rozelle & Linxiu Zhang & Chengfang Liu & Renfu Luo & Yaojiang Shi, 2011. "Conducting influential impact evaluations in China: the experience of the Rural Education Action Project," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 420-430, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:420-430
    DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2011.596940

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    JEL classification:

    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship


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