Impact Evaluation Mentoring for Governments in East and West Africa

In September 2018, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awarded PEP funding over three years for activities to strengthen impact evaluation capacities in East and West Africa.

Coordinated by PEP’s Experimental Research (PIERI) group, this initiative aims to reduce the gap between impact evaluation capabilities and demand (from local government and international organizations).


PEP survey in Malawi


Under this initiative, PEP is implementing a new type of Impact Evaluation Government Mentoring Program that provides training and technical support to government institutions interested in conducting rigorous impact evaluations of existing policies. Following a competitive call for proposals, six projects were selected to receive PEP support  under this new program.

The selected projects (listed below) are led by local government units, in collaboration with local researchers, in 5 African countries: Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Tanzania and Zambia. The supported project teams involve a total of 36 government officers and 19 local researchers, including 27 women. In addition to online courses and intensive support from PEP mentors, the selected team members also benefitted from advanced training during two PEP general meetings in 2019.

Also as part of this initiative, Hewlett support has enabled PEP to: 

  • Organize a thematic conference on the integration of policy evaluation into policy design (in June 2019 - find out more)
  • Extend the current online training courses in IE methods
  • Promote the PEP-PIERI approach (to support and strengthen local capacity for rigorous impact evaluations) worldwide, through several high-level international event
  • Enhance the institutional capacity of PEP and the PIERI group

Additionally, the PEP-PIERI Research Director has also participated in a scoping study for IE capacities in Africa, led by the African Evidence Network.



Evidence-based policymaking is essential to foster growth and achieve long-term development. Despite recent increases in sound IEs carried out in Africa, local capacity remains low, particularly for evaluation design and implementation. 

Local IE capacity is particularly important as researchers based in the study country are more familiar with the local context, better able to monitor all the steps of an IE, and develop closer ties with policymakers before, during and after the evaluation.

A base of better-trained and policy-engaged researchers, combined with increased government enthusiasm for IEs, should lead to better quality public policies for development in the target countries.


Projects selected for PEP-support

Six projects, in five African countries, are being supported under the Impact Evaluation Mentoring initiative (full list below). 

The six projects include five projects in low-income economies and/or fragile or conflict-affected situations (LIE/FC).

These projects involve a total of 56 researchers and government officers. Half of all team members are women and half of the projects are led by female team leaders.

Find out more about these projects and their publications:

Citizen participation and mobilization of local resources in Benin*: The case of built and unbuilt property taxes

Evaluation of the soy productivity improvement pilot project in the Agricultural Development Pole 4 in Benin*: An experimental study of the gender-differentiated Impact

Étude d’impact de l’insertion socio-économique des jeunes vulnérables en Côte d’Ivoire**

Business Training and Awareness Campaign for the M-CADJU Service in Guinea-Bissau***

The Effect of Mobile Phone Text Messages Reminder on Property Tax Compliance in Tanzania*: An evidence from Randomized Control Trials

Impact evaluation on community results-based financing in health in Zambia

*Low-income economies (LIE)   **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC)  ***LIE and FC


Supported by


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