Who We Are
Globally, evaluations have been exemplified as the pillar that holds good governance. Progressively, most government all over the world are shifting focus, and are being driven towards the mantra, ‘what matters is what works. The craving and the search for the evidence of what works is being provided through a substantial increase in demand for research and evaluations within government departments and greater use of pilot projects to test out new approaches. Over the past ten years, the evidence-informed policy revolution has swept academic institutions, think tanks, and governments. The government of Ghana for example established a Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation charged with improving the impact and efficiency of public sector programs. However, there still remains a lack of integration of rigorous impact evaluation techniques in evaluating government programs. Additionally, local academic curricula do not include training in these method.
Development Impact West Africa (DIWA) was established in 2019 as an initiative aimed at supporting West African governments to use credible and transparent evidence to inform policy decisions. DIWA is hosted by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) with partnership from the Centre for Effective Global Action (CEGA) and funded by the Hewlett Foundation. The project seeks to build tools and methods for rigorous and transparent impact evaluation into academic curricula in Institutions of Higher Education, boost demand for rigorous evidence as a tool for improved policymaking and program design, and facilitate new collaborative research opportunities between West African researchers, CEGA researchers, and policymakers.
The goal of the project is to deepen evidence-informed policy making in the sub-region by;
1) enhancing the receptivity of government policies in West African countries to rigorous evidence, and
2) strengthening the supply of locally-generated knowledge identified government’s need for policy decision making. Researchers from key academic institutions including; Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, Ashesi University, Dombo University of Business and Integrated Studies all in Ghana, University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the African School of Economics, Benin were competitively selected into the project. Others include; the Center for Democratic Development, ECOWAS Commission, and the Young Africans Leadership Initiative (YALI)
Over the past ten years, the evidence-informed policy revolution has swept academic institutions, think tanks, and governments– and the trajectory towards good governance and accountability by African governments and citizens is positive. In January 2017, the Ghanaian government established a Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation charged with improving the impact and efficiency of public sector programs. However, there still remains a lack of integration of rigorous impact evaluation techniques in evaluating government programs. Additionally, local academic curricula does not include training in these methods.
Established in 2019, Development Impact West Africa (DIWA) is a partnership between CEGA and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). Through DIWA, CEGA is helping GIMPA build tools and methods for rigorous and transparent impact evaluation into its curricula, boost demand for rigorous evidence as a tool for improved policymaking and program design, and facilitate new collaborative research opportunities between Ghanaian researchers, CEGA researchers, and policymakers.
Impact Evaluation Training and Curriculum Development
DIWA builds upon the rigor of GIMPA’s monitoring and evaluation trainings with an added focus on impact evaluation methods. Training for policymakers focuses on developing skills to commission, manage, and use impact evaluations in their decisions. Trainings for academics provides in-depth technical knowledge to design and conduct impact evaluations.
CEGA is also working with GIMPA to strengthen its economics curriculum to include impact evaluation topics.
Ongoing Skills Development
To complement in-person trainings, DIWA provides West African faculty and graduate students with the opportunity to enroll in a practical online course in Applied Impact Evaluation. In addition, select researchers are invited to apply for a competitive month-long fellowship at UC Berkeley to deepen their impact evaluation skills, build their networks, and engage in collaborative research projects with CEGA faculty.
Matchmaking, Collaborative Research and Dissemination
DIWA convenes US academics, Ghanaian academics, and Ghanaian policymakers to seed three-way research collaborations on priority questions. DIWA then provides competitive research funding for these ideas, and holds events to disseminate findings to key stakeholders.
The project key activities
- Impact Evaluation training
- Matchmaking & Collaborative Research event
- Curriculum Development for Impact Evaluation
- Research Grant Awards and Management of impact evaluation of selected government interventions.
- Ongoing Skill Development through online training in Applied Impact Evaluation
- Visiting Fellowship Programme at the University of California, Berkeley for West Africa researchers
- Results dissemination event.
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology
- Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- Ministry of Energy
- Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection