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3ie-LIDC Seminar: Tracking the Evidence of Impact and Boosting the Impact of Evidence: The Global Innovation Fund’s Approach to Development Finance

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 17:00 to 18:30
Lower Meeting Room, London International Development Centre, 36 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD
Ken Chomitz, Chief Analytics Officer, Global Investment Fund

This seminar was part of the 3ie-LIDC seminar series ‘What works in international development’. In each seminar one or two researchers present their results of impact evaluations, systematic review or methodological contribution followed by discussion and questions. The seminar is usually held on Wednesday evenings (with some exceptions), between 5.30pm and 7pm and is hosted by LIDC or one of its member colleges in central London (Bloomsbury).

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GIF is an evidence-based, venture-capital-like funder of innovations that improve the lives of the world’s poor. This talk described how GIF predicts and measures impact in order to maximize the social benefits of its investments. The talk began by reviewing a network analysis of the diffusion of project design concepts in business-as-usual development finance. The study found that successful projects are no more frequently emulated than unsuccessful ones. It then described how GIF is changing those dynamics by using impact prediction and measurement to find, improve, and scale up promising innovations.

Speaker’s Bio

Ken Chomitz joined the Global Innovation Fund as Chief Analytics Officer in 2016, after a career in research and evaluation at the World Bank. As Senior Advisor in the World Bank Group’s Independent Evaluation Group, he led major evaluations of the Bank’s efforts in energy policy and climate change. He chaired the Independent Evaluation of the Climate Investment Funds, the first joint evaluation by all the multilateral development banks. At the World Bank’s Research Group, he undertook pioneering work in the economics of climate change, biodiversity, and deforestation, and has worked also in health and labor. He is a co-author of the 2016 World Development Report, Digital Dividends, where he wrote on the implications of data and technology revolutions for development practice.

Chomitz holds an SB in mathematics from MIT and a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a National Research Council Fellow; Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University; and Senior Advisor with the Development Studies Project, a Jakarta-based policy advisory group.