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Report/Evaluation Type:Systematic Reviews and Impact Evaluations
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Later Impacts of Early Childhood Interventions: A Systematic Review

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Later Impacts of Early Childhood Interventions: A Systematic Review
While much has been written on early childhood development and the near-term benefits to children selected to participate in interventions, few studies look at the sustained impacts of these programs. This systematic review aims to contribute to the field's progress by collecting those studies that offer high-quality, causal estimates, providing analysis on interventions shown to have sustained Show MoreWhile much has been written on early childhood development and the near-term benefits to children selected to participate in interventions, few studies look at the sustained impacts of these programs. This systematic review aims to contribute to the field's progress by collecting those studies that offer high-quality, causal estimates, providing analysis on interventions shown to have sustained effects across a range of outcomes, and identifying research gaps to help guide future studies.

Improving Coverage and Utilization of Maternal and Child Health Services in Lao PDR: Impact Evaluation of the Community Nutrition Project

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The World Bank supported the Community Nutrition Project (CNP) in Lao PDR from 2009 to 2013 to respond to the global food crisis of 2007-08. The project was administered through a conditional cash transfer (CCT) with a community-based nutrition education program. This pilot, the first World Bank project executed entirely by a Lao line ministry, was carried out in the central and southern Show MoreThe World Bank supported the Community Nutrition Project (CNP) in Lao PDR from 2009 to 2013 to respond to the global food crisis of 2007-08. The project was administered through a conditional cash transfer (CCT) with a community-based nutrition education program. This pilot, the first World Bank project executed entirely by a Lao line ministry, was carried out in the central and southern provinces. IEG conducted an unmatched and matched difference-in-differences impact evaluation to investigate whether the CNP expanded coverage and changed health-seeking behaviors among mothers who were pregnant or had a child under two years old. This is the first impact evaluation on a World Bank financed project in Lao PDR. It is also the first impact evaluation of a project to estimate the effects of skilled birth attendance in Lao PDR.

Social Safety Nets and Gender: Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects

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Gender equality is widely accepted as an essential component of effective development, and in the past two decades it has progressively taken center stage in the international development community. As the third Millennium Development Goal, several programs were set up to improve education and economic opportunities for women and girls with the aim of achieving gender equality, as well as Show MoreGender equality is widely accepted as an essential component of effective development, and in the past two decades it has progressively taken center stage in the international development community. As the third Millennium Development Goal, several programs were set up to improve education and economic opportunities for women and girls with the aim of achieving gender equality, as well as reducing poverty overall. The goal of leveling the playing field and eliminating gender disparities is a work in progress. Social Safety Net (SSN) programs aimed at reducing poverty through cash and in-kind transfers and public works (PW) are not specifically designed to address gender equality, but they may offer great opportunities to respond to women's needs. This systematic review analyzes the available impact evaluation evidence on the effect of SSNs on gender-related results such as increasing women's bargaining power and decision-making, improving education outcomes of boys and girls, and promoting maternal and child health. The review also analyzes gender integration in the World Bank's portfolio of SSN interventions.

Delivering the Millennium Development Goals To Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality

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Improved outcomes for women and children—more education, lower fertility rates, higher nutritional status, and lower incidence of illness, among other outcomes—have broad individual, family, and societal benefits. Improved outcomes for women and children—more education, lower fertility rates, higher nutritional status, and lower incidence of illness, among other outcomes—have broad individual, family, and societal benefits.

Delivering the Millennium Development Goals To Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality (Dataset)

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This dataset includes information used in the "Delivering the Millennium Development Goals To Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality" evaluation.  This dataset includes information used in the "Delivering the Millennium Development Goals To Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality" evaluation. 

Delivering the MDGs To Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality: A Systematic Review of Impact Evaluation Evidence

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The targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been a bellwether for progress, particularly for maternal and child health. After more than a decade of effort, these goals have proved difficult to attain and are unlikely to be achieved by 2015. Interventions that may improve maternal and child health are numerous and spread across many development sectors. Even when such interventions Show MoreThe targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been a bellwether for progress, particularly for maternal and child health. After more than a decade of effort, these goals have proved difficult to attain and are unlikely to be achieved by 2015. Interventions that may improve maternal and child health are numerous and spread across many development sectors. Even when such interventions are known to be effective in controlled conditions, however, questions remain about implementation, delivery, and uptake. This review gathers impact evaluation evidence of fielded interventions that aim to improve skilled birth attendance and reduce maternal and child mortality rates. It reviews effectiveness evidence from multiple sectors on the distal causes of maternal and child mortality, complementing the body of effectiveness evidence from reviews specific to the health sector that focus on proximate interventions for intermediate outcomes. This systematic review is a learning exercise that looks beyond World Bank experience. In doing so, it draws on impact evaluations other than those conducted by the Bank or on Bank projects. It is intended to be used a reference for practitioners in the Bank and elsewhere with an interest in interventions that have demonstrated attributable improvements in skilled birth attendance and reductions in maternal and child mortality. This review also identifies important gaps in the impact evaluation evidence for interventions that may be effective in reducing maternal and child mortality but whose impacts have not yet been tested using robust impact evaluation methods.

Impact Evaluation of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Interventions

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The international community is paying increased attention to the 25 percent of the world’s population that lives in fragile and conflict affected settings, acknowledging that these settings represent daunting development challenges. To deliver better results on the ground, it is necessary to improve the understanding of the impacts and effectiveness of development interventions operating in Show MoreThe international community is paying increased attention to the 25 percent of the world’s population that lives in fragile and conflict affected settings, acknowledging that these settings represent daunting development challenges. To deliver better results on the ground, it is necessary to improve the understanding of the impacts and effectiveness of development interventions operating in contexts of conflict and fragility. This paper argues that it is both possible and important to carry out impact evaluations even in settings of violent conflict, and it presents some examples from a collection of impact evaluations of conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions. The paper examines the practices of impact evaluators in the peacebuilding sector to see how they address evaluation design, data collection, and conflict analysis. Finally, it argues that such evaluations are crucial for testing assumptions about how development interventions affect change—the so-called “theory of change”—which is important for understanding the results on the ground.

Impact Evaluation of Business License Simplification in Peru: An Independent Assessment of an International Finance Corporation-Supported Project

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It is often claimed that inefficient business regulations and procedures lock enterprises into a vicious circle of informality, where firms have little effective access to financing and are constrained in their ability to grow and prosper beyond the status of microenterprises. At issue are not only the merits of specific business regulations but also the drag on development represented by Show MoreIt is often claimed that inefficient business regulations and procedures lock enterprises into a vicious circle of informality, where firms have little effective access to financing and are constrained in their ability to grow and prosper beyond the status of microenterprises. At issue are not only the merits of specific business regulations but also the drag on development represented by informality itself. This evaluation verifies and validates previous conclusions and findings and also presents new evidence. It looks at the effects of reforms supported by the International Finance Corporation's (IFC's) Business License Simplification Project in the municipality of Lima, Peru.

World Bank Group Impact Evaluations: Relevance and Effectiveness

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In the study, IEG examines the relevance, quality, and influence of World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) impact evaluations (IEs) on operational, institutional, and knowledge priorities by examining their experience throughout the IE production cycle, from initiation to implementation to dissemination and uptake. IEG finds that the Bank Group portfolio of IEs is largely aligned Show MoreIn the study, IEG examines the relevance, quality, and influence of World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) impact evaluations (IEs) on operational, institutional, and knowledge priorities by examining their experience throughout the IE production cycle, from initiation to implementation to dissemination and uptake. IEG finds that the Bank Group portfolio of IEs is largely aligned with project objectives and sector strategies. In particular, World Bank IEs initiated more recently are better integrated with operations and cover a broader range of sector and knowledge priorities than earlier ones. Still, some areas for improvement need to be addressed, in particular in consideration of the relatively high cost of producing IEs.

Do Conditional Cash Transfers Lead to Medium-Term Impacts? Evidence from a Female School Stipend Program in Pakistan

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In an effort to fill the gap in evidence on the medium- and long-term effects of conditional cash transfer (CCTs), this report evaluates one such program at public girls‘ schools in Pakistan, the Punjab Female School Stipend Program (FSSP). In particular, the report attempts to answer three questions: (1) What are the program‘s impacts on outcomes that might affect future productivity of Show MoreIn an effort to fill the gap in evidence on the medium- and long-term effects of conditional cash transfer (CCTs), this report evaluates one such program at public girls‘ schools in Pakistan, the Punjab Female School Stipend Program (FSSP). In particular, the report attempts to answer three questions: (1) What are the program‘s impacts on outcomes that might affect future productivity of adolescent girls who have been participating in the intervention for up to four years, including sustained school enrollment, transition and completion of middle school and high school, early labor market outcomes, and marriage and fertility decisions?, (2) Does the program affect different beneficiary subgroups differently?, and (3) Are there positive or negative indirect effects of the program on boys who live in the same household with eligible girls?