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Évaluations d'impact: un outil de redevabilité ? Les leçons tirées de l'expérience de l'AFD. Impact Evaluations: A Tool for Accountability? Lessons from Experience in AFD

Jean-David Naudet, Jocelyne Delarue and Tanguy Bernard

Revue d’économie du développement, 2012, vol. 20, issue 4, 27-48

Abstract: This paper relates the Agence Fran?aise de D?veloppement?s experience in the area of impact evaluations. Our purpose is to assess to what extent such studies, when designed before actual programme implementation, can provide the type of summative evidence that donors still seek when promoting them. Specifically, we rely on three large-scale randomised control trials and scrutinise their capacity to answer questions about the programme?s underlying impact ?on whom?, ?on what? and ?of what?. We conclude that experimental studies should be promoted to clarify the ?tunnel-type? issues characterised by a limited number of well-specified homogeneous inputs, a tried-and-tested process, a short and external-event-proof causal chain, a rapid and stable take-up rate, a high and stable level of participation, and a set of outcomes measurable in the short run. While a number of such issues exist and are well worth studying experimentally to inform future development policies, few development interventions satisfy the required conditions, and summative use thus remains limited.

Date: 2012
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