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


  • Boswell, Mathew

    () (Stanford University)

  • Rozelle, Scott

    () (Stanford University)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boswell, Mathew & Rozelle, Scott, 2011. "Conducting influential impact evaluations in China: The experience of the Rural Education Action Project," 3ie Publications 2011-10, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:iiierp:2011_010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anju Vajja & Howard White, 2008. "Can the World Bank Build Social Capital? The Experience of Social Funds in Malawi and Zambia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(8), pages 1145-1168.
    2. White, Howard, 2009. "Theory-Based Impact Evaluation," 3ie Publications 2009-3, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
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    impact evaluation; China; Rural Education Action Project;

    JEL classification:

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

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