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3ie-LIDC Seminar: Cost-effectiveness Analyses of Complex Interventions in Low and Middle Income Countries: a systematic review

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 17:00 to 18:30
LIDC Upper Meeting Room
Edoardo Masset, Deputy Director Synthesis and Reviews Office, 3ie

Discussant: Mehmet Ugur, University of Greenwich Business School


Most development interventions are complex, being composed of several interacting activities affecting multiple outcomes. The literature offer little guidance on how to assess cost-effectiveness of these interventions. We systematically review cost-effectiveness analyses of complex interventions conducted alongside impact evaluations in low and middle income countries since 2000. We find 7 cost-effectiveness analyses of complex interventions in areas as diverse as de-worming; school support; conditional cash transfers; early childhood development; and social funds. In order to account for multiple outcomes, the studies reviewed employ variants of the following methodologies: cost-consequences analysis; cost-apportionment; cost-utility analysis and cost-benefit analysis. None of these approaches can be effectively employed in all cases though each of these approaches can be applied in some special cases. None of the studies reviewed addresses the presence of synergistic effects of project activities. Cost-effectiveness analysis of complex interventions remains an unexplored area of research and economic evaluation practice.

Speaker's bio

Edoardo is an agricultural and development economist with over ten years of experience in international development in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has extensive experience in designing and conducting impact evaluations of development interventions. He has excellent statistical and econometric research skills, and considerable experience in managing local economic development programmes in Honduras and Mongolia.

He is currently working on the following projects: impact evaluation of the Malian home grown school feeding programme with the Partnership for Child Development/Imperial College; randomised evaluation of a participatory monitoring programme in the Philippines by ACDI/VOCA; impact evaluation of the Millennium Village Project in Northern Ghana.

This is part of the 3ie-LIDC seminar series