By Chelsea Downs and Fitsum Mulugeta
The impacts of EASST don’t stop with training fellows at UC Berkeley-- fellows are funded through the program to catalyze changes within their home countries to strengthen the local ecosystem for evidence production and adoption into policies. See an example of a recent training in Uganda here and one held in 2016 here.
This past month, our first ever EASST fellow Fitsum Mulugeta along with Getachew A. Ahmed of IFPRI conducted an impact evaluation (IE) training with 33 competitively selected faculty, masters, and PhD students at Addis Ababa University. Ahmed drew upon his work measuring the impact of the agricultural programs to illustrate the challenges and strategies for managing field work. Mulugeta also shared examples from his experience evaluating the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program (ESAP), which aims to improve citizen engagement in service delivery. These practical examples helped participants to digest the impact evaluation methods and relate it to the research they do.
These learnings don’t end at the training, as Mulugeta and Ahmed have offered participants tailored support on their ongoing IE research. The facilitators plan to hold a similar training for policy makers in July. The upcoming training will focus on teaching the fundamental concepts of IE, with the goal of convincing policymakers to seek the critical evaluation of the programs they are implementing.