Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Workshop in Rio on Development Impact Evaluation

On June 6-10, 2011, I participated in a World Bank seminar in Rio de Janeiro on "Development Impact Evaluation in Finance and Private Sector", where I gave a presentation on "Public Support for Entreprise Innovation Policy" based on the innovation project that the World Bank is working on together with the Polish Ministry of Economy.

The workshop itself was surprisingly productive too, not only because it was held in Rio: it presented the state-of-the art methods for evaluating impact of policies using randomization and control group framework.

The take away from the workshop is that countries do not do enough of proper impact evaluations, which are needed to establish the true effect of policy interventions as well as the direction of causality. Without the new impact evaluations methods, policy interventions are likely to be much less informed/less efficient/and even plainly harmful.

For Poland, rigorous impact evaluations, subject to the availability of data, would be desperately needed to properly assess the efficiency of hundreds of public and EU-supported spending programs, worth billions of euros a year, whose efficiency is likely to leave much to be desired (to put it mildly)

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