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The E-valuate sample size calculator

E-valuate provides three calculation tools for an impact evaluation - a sample size calculator, a power calculator and an effect size calculator. E-valuate has been developed via a collaboration between Foresight Development Associates and Oxford Dynamics. The application is available for Windows computers and for Mac computers, for android devices via the Google Play store,… >>Read more

Does skin in the game improve the level of play? The experience of payment by results (PbR) on the Girls’ Education Challenge programme (GEC)

This blog is by Joe Holden and John Patch. The full paper on which this is based can be found here. In a payment by results (PbR) programme, a service provider may not be paid by the donor for what they spend - the provider has financial ‘skin in the game’. The central rationale of… >>Read more

The top 10 sources of data for international development research

It’s easy to be a bit nostalgic for work pre-internet, when research could involve exploring the dusty confines of the British Library or the excitement of digging out an old tome from a government archive with numbers on Ugandan coffee exports from 1957. But nothing really beats the satisfaction available today from downloading in just… >>Read more

Sharpening minds: Payment by results (PbR) in international development

In international development, programmes are commissioned by bilateral or multilateral institutions such as USAID, DFID or the World Bank to one or more ‘service providers’ from the private or third sector. Payment by results (PbR) is one means of contracting these providers, whereby part or all of a contract's value is linked to the achievement of… >>Read more

Simplicity first, complexity second. RCTs or systems science?

International development is a field that embraces many disciplines of which economics is only one, and  is now moving towards a much greater emphasis on ‘systems thinking’. There are many positive elements of the move towards greater awareness of systems in international development. But as I argue here, we may be missing out on a… >>Read more

Designing M&E systems: On the need to know

When we collect information, we rarely stop to think about the burdens we generate. As a result of not considering the costs, we often collect data or run analysis that becomes an end in itself rather than a means to improve something or truly inform someone; i.e. information that serves little benefit. This post sets… >>Read more

5 lessons for researchers from the UK 2015 election polling debacle

The May 2015 general election results have been described as a “debacle”, “terrible”, and a “disaster” for the very sizeable polling industry in the UK. At least ten major companies and one prominent private pollster produced regular polls in the run-up to the election. While not unprecedented (the general election of 1992 produced a similarly… >>Read more