2018 IN REVIEW

 
 

Women in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, guided by IDinsight Associates Andres Parrado and Ishita Batra, share their preferences on banking, savings, and loans as part of data collection for the Government of India’s Aspirational Districts Initiative.

NITI+FI+team+prototypes+preference+elicitation+tool.jpg
 

Dear partners, colleagues, and friends,

2018 was an exciting year of impact, innovation, and growth at IDinsight. We were fortunate to work closely with inspiring partner and client organizations towards our vision of improving millions of lives by transforming how the social sector innovates, learns and improves. Together, we started new embedded learning partnerships with governments across Asia and Africa, continued conducting rigorous “decision-focused” impact evaluations for leaders, launched innovative data and evidence tools to help our partner organizations solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and expanded into new geographies.

We are excited about the year ahead and would like to thank you for your support and the incredible work you and your organizations do. We look forward to collaborating with you in our shared goal of expanding the opportunities for all people to live the lives they aspire to lead.

Best wishes for the new year,

imageedit_1_8546390011.png
 

Neil Buddy Shah
CEO, IDinsight

 

EMBEDDED GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS

 

IDinsight Partner Ron Abraham signs an agreement with Amitabh Kant, CEO of the Government of India’s Central Policy Making Unit NITI Aayog, to establish an embedded team driving evidence-based change across India. 

Screen+Shot+2018-12-20+at+12.50.11+PM.jpg
 

FUSING EVIDENCE AND ACTION THROUGH EXTENDED ENGAGEMENTS


Since 2012, IDinsight has been pioneering the idea of embedded learning partnerships. Policymakers typically operate in rapidly evolving environments without quality, relevant data. Conventional M&E is often too slow, rigid, and externally-driven to help. In these learning partnerships, our teams are co-located in government offices to better understand decision-makers’ constraints and empower them with a full suite of cutting-edge data and evidence tools to help them make impactful decisions. 

Over the last year, we began new embedded government partnerships and strengthened existing ones with the Governments of Ghana, India, Malawi, and Zambia.


 

RIGOROUS IMPACT EVALUATIONS

 

IDinsight Manager Aya Silva and Associate Daniel Waldroop work with clients to map out a theory of change in September 2018.

IMG_20180914_105606.jpg
 

USING RIGOROUS IMPACT EVALUATIONS AS A DECISION-MAKING TOOL


Since our founding, IDinsight has advanced the idea of decision-focused evaluations, which are rigorous impact evaluations designed to answer our clients’ highest priority questions within the real-world constraints and timelines that they face. We have conducted over 50 impact evaluations across 13 countries.

Two highlights from 2018 are:

  • Finding a cost-effective solution to Vitamin A deficiency: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) combat Vitamin A deficiency, but disseminating the crop at scale has been a challenge. IDinsight worked with the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to test a new, lower-cost model: distributing sweet potato vines to school children. The RCT’s results highlight the program’s success: two years after distribution, both families who received vines and other households in their communities are much more likely to grow and consume the potatoes. Read more here.

  • Testing immunization incentives: IDinsight is running a large-scale decision-focused evaluation of Givewell incubation grantee New Incentives' Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. The CCT seeks to incentivize routine immunization in three states in North Western Nigeria – a context where immunization coverage is extremely low and a high proportion of under-five deaths are attributed to vaccine-preventable diseases. Through Givewell's decisions, evidence from the evaluation could unlock more than US $20 million in funding to allow New Incentives to scale up its program across Northern Nigeria. Read more here.


 

 INNOVATION

 

Surveyors compare notes and discuss data collection plans.

DSC_0806.JPG
 

CREATING NEW COST-EFFECTIVE TOOLS TO MAXIMIZE EVIDENCE-INFORMED DECISIONS


IDinsight's Innovation team was created to develop new data and evidence tools and adapt existing cutting-edge techniques to the needs of international development leaders.

Three highlights from 2018 are:

  • Results-Based Financing (RBF): RBF is an innovative tool in which future funding for interventions is tied to demonstrated impact. IDinsight conducted a randomized control trial (RCT) for the world’s first Development Impact Bond (DIB), Educate Girls, which resulted in scale-up funding. IDinsight is currently evaluating the Village Enterprise DIB, among others. 

  • Machine Learning: IDinsight explored new frontiers of data-driven development by utilizing machine learning to identify out-of-school girls. Our algorithms located roughly 50% more out-of-school children for the same operational cost. Read more here.

  • Data on Demand: Our vision is to make data collection radically faster, cheaper and easier to use. In Zambia we are developing an innovative information system (Nano IS) to collect data on Zambian chief's key policy priorities in real-time, so they can address challenges as they arise. Read more here.
    In India we have set up a large network of local enumerators to rapidly report on government service delivery and socioeconomic outcomes to the national government, and received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop our innovations. Read more here. 


 

 GROWTH

 

In November 2018, IDinsight staff members based in Africa met in Lusaka, Zambia for our Africa Summit to discuss our work and impact on the continent.

2018-12-04+Group+pic-3.jpg
 

EXPANDING TO SERVE NEW NEEDS


Our people are critical to our approach and our success. We are a diverse team of economists, data scientists, policy wonks, and consultants, united in our desire to maximize social impact by putting cutting-edge data and evidence tools in the hands of decision-makers.

Because the scale of global poverty is so large, we have expanded our global presence and grown our team. In 2018, IDinsight opened four new offices in Bangalore, Dakar, Johannesburg, and Washington, DC, and placed new embedded teams in Lilongwe and Accra.

Meet our team and learn more about their perspectives on evidence-informed decision-making.


WISHING YOU A HAPPY,
DATA-DRIVEN,& IMPACTFUL NEW YEAR

DSC_0034.jpg