By Chris Barnett

It is exciting times for CDI as I hand over the Directorship to Dr Giel Ton, Fellow at IDS, and Deputy Director, Dr Rachel Eager at Itad (find out what Giel is looking forward to working on as the new Director). The past few years have seen CDI spearhead some fascinating debates and I am sure it will go on from strength to strength. It is very hard to choose just three personal highlights, but here goes...!

  • Secondly, our work on Evaluation Ethics where we set out to provoke the evaluation profession to go beyond a ‘do no harm’ approach and consider more carefully the political economy of evaluation. Apart from a series of CDI events on this topic, including a panel session at IDS and another during 3ie’s Evidence Week, we have captured much of this in a series of articles in the Journal for Development Effectiveness.  
  • And lastly, but by no means least, I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with such a wide range of academics and evaluation practitioners – and importantly, advocating for a more pluralistic approach to evaluating and understanding impact (for whom, and under what circumstances). It is so hard to pull out just a few examples from our over thirty CDI seminars and nearly twenty CDI Practice Papers. Here’s just a few…certainly, the work on Participatory Statistics, Realist Evaluation and Process Tracing stand out – and have been presented at CARES, UKES and EES conferences. But, I think the work of CDI is perhaps best encapsulated in our mixed designs and design choices approaches, as encapsulated in the recent CDI / IDS short course on Evaluating Impact. We are planning another one for next year, so watch this space!

Going forwards, I’ll continue to play an active role in CDI in this new phase as part of the CDI Board and as an Honorary Associate to IDS. 

Partner(s): Itad