This week, we share a Q&A with IDinsight’s East Africa Regional Director to find out what drives and inspires her to do this work.

Frida Njogu-Ndongwe: IDinsight East Africa Regional Director

Frida Njogu-Ndongwe is a medical doctor and public health and development specialist. She currently leads IDinsight’s team and operations in East Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to IDinsight, Frida was the Director of Programs at the Center for Health Solutions — Kenya and a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Africa Delivery Hub. She served most recently as CEO and co-founder of Afyakit Technologies, a Kenya-based start-up that built and operates a health analytics platform for…


A new helpdesk developed by 3ie and IDinsight provides West African policymakers with evidence to inform their policies.

Adjamé Market, Abidjan, Ivory Coast by Eva Blue on Unsplash

By Paul Thissen, Evaluation and Communication Specialist, 3ie

In the countries where the West Africa Capacity-building and Impact Evaluation (WACIE) program works, the gaps in evaluation experience are stark, as the program’s scoping study found. Accordingly, the use of evidence in policymaking is limited. But the barrier is capacity, not interest — the same study found that the desire among policymakers and evaluation professionals for support and capacity building was nearly universal.

The new WACIE Helpdesk aims to respond to this need…


In this Q+A, IDinsight’s Marc Shotland, Director of the Research, Evaluation, and Data Team, shares evidence on what makes distance learning programs successful and the factors that contribute to their failure.

Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna from Pexels

The COVID-19 pandemic caused school closures worldwide, forcing educators to find innovative ways to teach students away from the classroom. Many teachers used distance learning educational technologies for the first time. Our team at IDinsight recently completed an evidence review, investigating which factors make distance learning approaches effective and successful. Marc Shotland, Director of our technical team, shares what they learned.

Q: What piqued your interest in Edtech?

Marc…


A “mystery shopper survey” can assess trainees’ skills on the job, providing insight to strengthen employment readiness programs.

A “mystery shopper” survey can provide valuable insight into employee performance. Image by Oleg Magni on Pexels

By Christy Lazicky, Torben Fischer, and Michael Otieno

In communities with high youth unemployment rates, technical training programs can seem like an effective path to prepare young people for the workplace. But it can be difficult to know how effective these programs are — especially tracking young people once they graduate and assessing their performance on the job. This blog outlines one approach to assess trainees once they are employed to gain insights that will strengthen technical training programs¹.

Example scenario: John²…


IDinsight previously led a workshop with Educate Girls’ team in India. ©IDinsight/Rob Sampson

By Sid Ravinutala

We recently rebuilt our machine learning (ML) model for Educate Girls (EG). Though part of the motivation was paying down some tech debt (fixing shortcuts), the main reason was to incorporate all the feedback and learnings on the performance of the ML model from the last few years. We also received new data from recent data collection efforts and surveys. In this post, I’ll talk about the new model — its strengths, weaknesses, and what’s next.

In a previous article, we wrote about how we used ML to reduce the operational costs of locating out-of-school girls for…


Ruth Levine, IDinsight’s CEO, gave a keynote speech entitled “The Promise and Pitfalls of Co-creation” at the Evidence and Implementation Summit on March 30, 2021. Below are her prepared remarks. Link here to the video.

It is a huge pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with this audience today — an audience of people who are deeply committed and working hard, to bring the best of the “evidence agenda” to bear on important issues that affect millions and millions of people around the world.

As I sat down to write this talk a few weeks ago, here’s what first…


How (and why) we use GitHub Actions to help us deploy new surveys even faster.

By Jeenu Thomas and Sid Ravinutala

At IDinsight, we do a lot of surveys. Informing decisions often means collecting primary data. For example, last year we ran 21 survey campaigns where we reached over 100 thousand respondents. With our Data on Demand service, we are able to run representative surveys substantially faster than average. One way we do this is by deploying the right tools to optimize and automate processes. …


On International Women’s Day, IDinsight CEO Ruth Levine reflects on the multiple ways we must disrupt gendered behavior and structural bias.

Padma, a representative from the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), leads a nutrition program for mothers at the BALSEWA Center, which addresses issues for women working in the informal sector by providing affordable daycare, health check-ups and educational programs. ©Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

By Ruth Levine

I once asked a gender studies historian what we could learn from our past progress on women’s rights to help us focus our attention now: Should we build movements or get women elected to high office? Should we champion more equal representation in popular culture or better data and evidence illustrating inequalities? Should we ensure our own homes and organizations are places where men and women have equal power and pay, or highlight bias throughout society…


As Chris Chibwana, IDinsight Partner and Head of Africa, departs the organization, he shares five valuable lessons on evidence-informed policymaking.

Chris Chibwana, IDinsight Partner and Head of Africa, with teammates at the IDinsight Lusaka office

This week is my last at IDinsight, an organization I joined in October 2017 after spending seven years at USAID. When I joined the organization, I had no idea what to expect. I had not heard of IDinsight prior to applying, but I was fascinated by the organization’s mission so I took the plunge, in faith. The past three years have, by far, been among the most professionally rewarding years of my career. I have had an opportunity to work…


Tips to help you decide whether you should work with a vendor to create a customized monitoring system or buy one off-the-shelf. This is part two of a three-part series on how to select the right system for your organization. Read part one here.

Photo by Damian Zaleski on Unsplash

By Vera Lummis and Eric Dodge

After you have successfully identified what your organization is looking for in an impact measurement tool, the next step is to consider whether to buy an “off-the-shelf” solution — such as SocialSuite or Impact Atlas — or to custom-build your own. “Off-the-shelf” solutions come with a package of features that…

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