According to a recent article by the World Bank, multilateral lending for transport amounts to 29% of multilateral development bank assistance, only 0.4% of all impact evaluations have transport as a core topic, and only 2.5% include Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
A new initiative between the World Bank, the British Department for International Development (DFID) and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) seeks to do that. The initiative,“Impact Evaluation – Connect for Impact,” aims to transform the way that both transport and ICT projects are designed, implemented and evaluated. It was launched on June 22, 2015 at a workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by the World Bank’s Transport and ICT Global Practice, and convened 175 people from 18 client countries – including development practitioners, subject-matter experts and researchers.
The workshop helped kick-start a global collaboration that will offer a systematic sector approach to generating concrete evidence of what works, what does not, where, when and why. The success of this initiative depends greatly upon collaboration between the world’s eight MDBs, which sent representatives to the workshop.
A stronger commitment to impact evaluations, with better systematic analysis and intellectual rigor, can give donors and governments added confidence about their current interventions. It can also help encourage future investments, which are crucial to closing infrastructure gaps, especially in developing countries.
The “Impact Evaluation – Connect for Impact” program will develop a new analytical framework, fill knowledge gaps and collect data for transport and ICT investments. These activities will help build capacity – as well as collaboration – across MDBs and client countries. The initiative is critical to addressing increasingly large and complex challenges, including urban planning, transport systems and climate change implications.