About Evidence Based Policy Making
With the transition to market-based systems, many countries are designing and implementing social policies targeted to specific populations, e.g. social protection to poor people, job training programs to the youth and unemployed, agricultural development programs to farmers. Decision-makers, donors and taxpayers are interested in knowing whether the programs have the expected benefits. A rigorous assessment may lead to improvements in the design and implementation of the programs, fostering accountability.
The evaluation of the effectiveness of programs began with welfare and job training programs in the United States and is now increasingly applied in developing countries. Many interesting lessons emerged from this literature with respect to how to conduct a rigorous evaluation. Scientifically sound evaluations are needed because they are crucial for generating political support for the continuation or expansion of the programs. Moreover, evaluation findings may also inform policy makers outside national boundaries. Their value as a public good justifies funding evaluations with resources beyond those available domestically. There are several international institutions devoting resources to impact evaluation.
However, consensus about the need for serious impact evaluation at the policy-making level is not yet accepted across the board. There are many programs in need of evaluation. Further researchwould shed light on similar/new activities, but these programs either go unevaluated or they are evaluated using techniques which are far from best practices in impact evaluation.
Activities thatpromote impact evaluation methodology (in terms of capacity building and bridging research and policy) in more disadvantaged Latin American and Caribbean countries will be important to closing the gap between state of the art evaluation techniques in developed countries and their application in Latin America and the Caribbean.
CEDLAS is committed to generating/supporting scientifically sound studies and capacity building activities thataim to produce evidence-based results for policy making.
CEDLAS is the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies, based at Facultad de Ciencias Económicas - Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) in Argentina. It was formally created in 2002 within the UNLP’s Economics Department.
The Center specializes in policy and applied empirical research on distributive and labor issues based on microdata from household surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean. The work carried out by its researchers covers also a wider range of issues and geographic areas, as witnessed by the Center’s collection of working papers and the research projects carried out since 2002 for a host of international organizations, national governments and research institutions.
Facultad de Ciencias Económicas-UNLP
Calle 6 entre 47 y 48, oficina 322
(1900) La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires
Web site: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/