The Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policy, EDePo, is a research centre at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It aims to promote best practice in the design, conduct and evaluation of development interventions and policy reforms in developing countries. The motivation for our work is that better policy design can aid greatly in efforts to reduce poverty and boost economic growth in developing countries, improving the quality of life and life-prospects of their people.
Research at EDePo focuses on understanding and modelling the decisions of agents (such as individuals, households, firms) and how these are affected by the economic and policy environment they face. In particular, our work involves examining how human capital investment, consumption, savings, labour supply and demand, and technology adoption and development are shaped by policy interventions and systems. This includes both evaluation and analysis of existing policies, alongside an effort to understand the underlying mechanisms by which policies and interventions may affect behaviour and how policy can best be designed to meet its objectives.
We conduct impact evaluations using different methods, depending on the question and context at hand, including randomised experiments, quasi experiments and natural experiments. Throughout our evaluation work, we also strive to understand how impacts are achieved by using behavioural models grounded in economic theory , thus informing the optimal design of policies. This is assisted by the extensive data collection activities we undertake, which allows us to design in-depth and innovative surveys to estimate such models. We also place a great deal of emphasis on taking a multidisciplinary approach to research. See our 'Research' page for more details of our work, and our 'Publications' pages for more detail on our outputs.
We seek to communicate the results of our rigorous research effectively to a wide range of audiences, particularly in developing countries, thereby maximising their impact on policy both directly and by informing public debate. To this end, we work closely with policy makers to design specific policies and interventions in developing countries, helped by the long-standing reputation of IFS for independent and authoritative analysis. The centre is currently directed by Orazio Attanasio and Sonya Krutikova.