Evidence for Development (EfD) works closely with partners to achieve shared goals. We have a wide range of partners and partnerships, and are open to new ones – contact us to discuss potential partnerships with Evidence for Development.
In April 2016, Evidence for Development relocated its office to the University of Reading where it is now an independent entity within the Walker Institute. There is a close match between the Walker Institute’s mission and our own. The Institute is pioneering a more integrated approach to understanding and predicting the effects of climate on human society, and is able to bring together international expertise from groups working in meteorology, geography, agriculture, biological sciences and statistics. EfD is contributing its deep knowledge of rural economies in Africa, its methods for measuring and modelling the impacts of shocks and changes at household level, and its innovative use of information technology to provide operationally useful analysis.
We are currently contributing to the cross-disciplinary work of the Institute, while continuing our research and capacity building activities with other partners in Africa and the UK, and developing new research and analytical tools. We are working with the Walker Institute on a number of initiatives, including the prestigious HyCRISTAL project in East Africa.
Evidence for Development is a member of the HyCRISTAL (Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa) consortium, part of the DfID/NERC-funded Future Climate For Africa programme. Working with policymakers and interdisciplinary researchers (hydrology, economics, engineering, social science, ecology and decision-making), HyCRISTAL will quantify risks for rural and urban livelihoods, quantify climate impacts, and provide the necessary tools to use climate information for decision making.
We are working with the Walker Institute, the UK Met Office and the Norwegian Refugee Council in a project which combines expertise in weather and climate science, livelihoods analysis, adaptive social protection, capacity development and local inter-agency experience in the Sahel. The objective is to increase the resilience of populations through the timely use of social protection mechanisms, triggered by improved analysis of climate information and its impact on livelihoods.
Evidence for Development is training staff and students from UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF), IEDA Relief and l’Université Polytechnique de Bobo-Dioulasso in the individual household method (IHM), and with their assistance is undertaking livelihoods assessments of Malian refugees and neighbouring host communities in Burkina Faso. Studies in the Sahel region are being used to monitor the ‘Sahel Milk’ Seeds for Solutions project, funded by the IKEA Foundation.
Evidence for Development has worked with the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET 6) as part of the Chemonics consortium. FEWS NET is the world’s leading provider of food security analysis and early warning. EfD supported FEWS NET and partner staff to maximise the quality and value of livelihood information collected, to develop new analytical tools and to embed high-level skills among local staff and partners. These aims are closely aligned to Evidence for Development’s organisational objectives, and provided a welcome opportunity to work on a global scale.
Evidence for Development co-founders Celia Petty and John Seaman are visiting academics at the Department of Geography at King’s College London, and EfD associate Wolf Ellis is studying for a PhD (with funding from the ESRC and EfD) at the university, researching UK living standards, poverty and impacts of assistance provided through food banks and other services. Together with southern Africa expert Dr Debby Potts, Evidence for Development also provides a masters’ course unit – ‘Analysing Poverty: Concepts, Measurement and Modelling’ – combining e-learning with workshop teaching sessions. The first cohort of students completed the course in May 2013, and it is growing in popularity. The e-learning project won a highly competitive King’s College Teaching Fund award, which has allowed us to pilot new methods of delivering course content. Celia and John also continue to lecture on the ‘Environment and Development’ MA programme.
Together with the University of Bath, Farm Africa and Self Help Africa, Evidence for Development implemented a DfID/ESRC-funded longitudinal research project: ‘Assessing Rural Transformations (ART)’. Aiming to develop credible and cost-effective impact assessment tools while also building the organisations’ capacities to conduct individual household method (IHM) studies, the research piloted new evaluation methodologies for assessing rural livelihoods interventions in four sites in Ethiopia and Malawi. The selected sites were affected by changes in climate and issues of market access. IHM household economy data was complemented by Qualitative Impact Protocol (QUIP) interviews. The project began in 2012 and was completed in 2015, with national workshops in Ethiopia and Malawi and presentations at the UK Development Studies Association annual conference. A series of ‘Assessing Rural Transformations’ IHM working papers are now available; ongoing work will synthesise the two strands of data and seek to apply the findings more broadly.
Evidence for Development assists Self Help Africa (SHA) to systematically design, monitor and evaluate its programmes across Africa using the IHM. SHA works in 7 countries, implementing projects that aim to reduce poverty and improve food security in rural communities. Over 90 SHA staff and partners have achieved IHM certification levels 1, 2 or 3 and IHM data is now routinely used in the organisation’s reporting systems, as well as contributing to programme design and on-going monitoring and research.
Between March to June 2014, Evidence for Development trained staff from Farm Africa and Mercy Corps in household economy methods and completed studies in six contrasting rural and urban areas of Ethiopia as part of the design phase of their BRACED project, part of a major DfID-funded climate change resilience programme. The assessments combined rapid livelihood zoning exercises and IHM surveys, providing information to assist with the design of interventions and investments seeking to reduce vulnerability amongst pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and peri-urban populations. Further research is likely to follow as part of the subsequent project.
We have trained key academics from the University of Gulu and Mbarara University of Science and Technology through a series of studies carried out in the north and south-west of Uganda. The universities are now introducing household economy methodology in their mainstream undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, using Evidence for Development’s teaching materials. Staff from the University of Gulu participated as team leaders in HEA and IHM work conducted in July 2016 as part of the HyCRISTAL project.
Evidence for Development is an associate member of 3ie. We share 3ie’s commitment to “the production and use of evidence from rigorous impact evaluations for policy decisions that improve social and economic development programs in low- and middle-income countries”.
Other partners have included:
Evidence for Development has been working since 2007 with Chancellor College, University of Malawi. Activities include:
In January 2012, Evidence for Development completed an 18-month climate change project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID). The research links climate information with livelihoods data collected from across the SADC (southern Africa) region using HEA methodology, aiming to take a first step towards providing regional and national policy makers with both the tools to understand and manage drought and other climate events and a policy framework for promoting local resilience and adaptation. Central to this work is the availability of appropriate analytical software for the household economy approach, which Evidence for Development is close to completing.
EfD has recently published a paper in Climate Risk Management on this subject: ‘The household economy approach: managing the impact of climate change on poverty and food security in developing countries’.
SMART methodology project
Evidence for Development provided a food security assessment module for the USAID-funded SMART methodology, an improved survey method designed to assess the severity of humanitarian crises.
Evidence for Development worked with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the US humanitarian agency Mercy Corps on a three-year study which used the individual household method (IHM) to monitor changes in the economies of internally displaced households (IDPs) in northern Uganda from 2006-2009.
Evidence for Development worked with Hope and Homes for Children training social workers in Rwanda to collect detailed information on household economies, social factors, educational achievement and health. This information is being used to select income-generating activities and other assistance that fits best with individual household capabilities and circumstances, with progress monitored on a continuing basis.
Evidence for Development’s initial capacity building and curriculum development work in Malawi was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, under its Africa programme.