Geospatial Impact Evaluations measure intended and unintended impacts of development programs. Leveraging readily available data like satellite observations or household surveys, GIE methods establish a reliable counterfactual to measure impact - at a fraction of the time and cost of a "traditional" randomized control trial (RCT).
Like RCTs, GIEs can estimate the net effect of a specific program by comparing similar units where the only difference was an intervention, or treatment. Unlike RCTs, GIEs use precise geographic data to establish this counterfactual retroactively, eliminating the need to assign program participants into randomized treatment and control groups within the program design.
GIEs can be completed in a fraction of the time and financial cost of an RCT by eliminating the need for customized data collection in treatment and control groups before, during and after the program.
GIE methods are also flexible tools that can either be used to evaluate individual projects or project portfolios. Whereas RCTs are often implemented in narrowly bounded settings, GIEs can be used with data for an entire country (or even multiple countries), which makes it possible to draw conclusions about impacts and cost effectiveness that are broadly generalizable.
Additionally, GIEs can be implemented remotely, retrospectively, and affordably, opening up new opportunities to measure long-run programmatic impacts, which is especially useful to evaluators working in conflict and fragile state settings.
Faster and cheaper than a randomized control trial but more rigorous than a performance evaluation, Geospatial Impact Evaluations (GIEs) fill the “missing middle” for organizational learning.
Researchers from AidData will travel to Côte d’Ivoire to lead development of a USAID-funded geospatial data center.
Liberia made foreign direct investment (FDI) the centerpiece of its development strategy. We examine how these natural resource concessions affected local economic growth.
AidData Working Paper
A review of the advantages, disadvantages, and use cases of GIEs across countries, sectors, interventions, and development organizations.
Aug 31, 2017
Ariel BenYishay, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler, Carrie Dolan, Seth Goodman, Bradley Parks, Jeffery Tanner, Silke Heuser, Geeta Batra, Anupam Anand
Chinese-funded infrastructure projects need not lead to widespread environmental damage when nearby ecosystems are appropriately protected.
Nov 30, 2016
Ariel BenYishay, Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler
Findings suggesting that indigenous land rights programs should not uniformly be justified on the basis of their forest protection.
Mar 31, 2016
Ariel BenYishay, Silke Heuser, Daniel Runfola, Rachel Trichler
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