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3ie-LIDC Seminar Series: Fieldwork is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. The importance of going deep on context.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 17:30 to 19:00

Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT How to find it

Speaker: Howard White, Executive Director, 3ie 

Abstract: A neglected part of the evidence revolution is the sheer volume of data being collected through large scale surveys. Twenty years ago it was the exception for economists to go to the field. Today it is the norm. But does this exposure to the subjects of their analysis give additional insights? Unfortunately, it will not if researchers neglect context. Howard White argues that 'going deep on context' (historical, political and cultural) is necessary to for a proper understanding of impact, and indeed should also inform intervention design. Examples are given from across Africa and Asia of how impact is mediated by social context.
About the Speaker: Howard White is the Executive Director of 3ie, co-chair of the Campbell International Development Coordinating Group, and Adjunct Professor, Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University.
His previous experience includes leading the impact evaluation programme of the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group and before that, several multi-country evaluations. Other experience includes leading large projects such as the World Bank published report ‘African Poverty at the Millennium’ and developing the overall direction of poverty training for 2,000 DFID staff at country offices around the world.
Howard has worked extensively on development-related issues in countries across Africa and Asia and has published over 60 papers in internationally refereed journals and several books, focusing on aid effectiveness and poverty reduction. He is Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies and the Journal of Development Effectiveness. He has taught at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, and continues to engage worldwide via workshops and training opportunities for policymakers on topics related to development effectiveness and impact evaluation. (A complete list of publications is available from IDEAS).
Co-Chairs: Richard Manning, 3ie Chair of Board of directors & Annette Brown, Deputy Director 3ie, Head of US office.