Book banter – Weapons of Math Destruction

In this podcast Oxfam researchers Franziska Mager and Deborah Hardoon review Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil, a book which describes the way that big data is being used to affect every aspect of our lives, leading to bias which increases inequality and threatens democracy.

Questioning the use of biometric technology in humanitarian response

Anna Kondakhchyan shares the findings of new research, Biometrics in the Humanitarian Sector, which looks into the benefits and risks of using biometric technology to register people to receive humanitarian aid. How would you feel if refusal to submit your biometric data meant you were excluded from the provision of humanitarian assistance? Biometrics, the measurement of human characteristics through technology such …

Follow the money: calculating net aid flows

What percentage of aid reaches the intended recipient country? Our methodology tool can be used to calculate this, but more aid data transparency is needed. Aid data transparency just got a major boost from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Its new policy document, ‘Open aid, open societies: A vision for a transparent world’ reaffirms the agency’s requirement that …

Findings from a meta-analysis of women’s empowerment projects

What overall impact are Oxfam’s women’s empowerment projects having? Simone Lombardini and Kristen McCollum attempted to answer this question by conducting a meta-analysis of our effectiveness review evaluations. Here Simone shares the key findings. After over six years conducting impact evaluations of women’s empowerment projects, I am very pleased to share our lessons from a recent meta analysis. ‘Using internal …

Agile research in the risky realities of the Central African Republic

Conducting research in volatile locations like the Central African Republic (CAR) requires the agility to constantly adapt. Irene Guijt and Franziska Mager report back from a recent trip with unexpected twists and turns. Conducting research in a country like the Central African Republic with chronic conflict – and around half a million internally displaced people (1/8th of the national population!) …

Matching by Coarsened Exact Matching?

Marcella Vigneri introduces a new technique for matching data as part of the programme impact evaluation process. REAL GEEK This blog series is aimed at anyone with an interest in research, evaluation and adaptive learning. Global Impact Evaluation Advisers routinely face the challenge of how to re-create samples of units (be it individuals, families, farmers, or group members) with the …