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About LIDC

New Approaches to International Development

The London International Development Centre (LIDC) facilitates interdisciplinary research and activities to tackle complex problems in international development and create a network of interdisciplinary researchers.

We bring together academics and students from across the following University of London colleges: SOAS, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, UCL Institute of Education, Birkbeck, Queen Mary University and City, University of London.


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The seminar will present the results of a meta-analysis examining the overall impact of women’s empowerment projects evaluated as part of Oxfam GB’s Effectiveness Reviews. It provides an example of how using meta-analysis in the presence of a robust organisational global evaluation framework can enable evidence-based learning, organisational accountability and better programme implementation. Results show a positive and significant impact on the Women’s Empowerment Index and mixed results with its individual indicators. It also found statically significant overall effects where the individual studies were too underpowered to detect impact.

The Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning has an ambitious remit to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the innovative development and testing of evaluation methods. The Centre will address gaps in the evidence base, especially in underserved areas; support the allocation of development resources; and contribute to the design of development programmes, based on evidence of what works, where, for whom and at what cost.

This study uses a fuzzy regression discontinuity design exploiting age discontinuities in the degree of exposure to a law that raised the legal age of marriage for women from 15 to 18 years in some regions of Ethiopia to provide the first evidence on (a) the beneficial effects on child marriage and infant mortality of laws that ban underage marriage and on (b) the causal effect of delaying women's age at cohabitation on infant mortality. The results show that although the introduction of the law did not end child marriage among Ethiopian women, it had large effects on the incidence of child marriage and on the probability of infant mortality of the first born child.

Besides, the results suggest that a one-year delay in women's age at cohabitation during teenage years decreases the incidence of infant mortality of the first born by 3.8 percentage points. The size of this effect is comparable to the joint impact on child mortality of measles,
BCG, DPT, Polio and Maternal Tetanus vaccinations. This effect on infant mortality seems to be closely linked to the impact of delaying cohabitation on the age of women at first birth.

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