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…


A new framework aims to help non-profit organizations identify the minimum specifications they need when setting up their monitoring systems. This is part one of a three-part series on how to select the right system for your organization. Read part two here.

By Vera Lummis, Torben Fischer, and Eric Dodge

IDinsight’s work with governments and NGO partners often involves designing or setting up performance monitoring systems. These are systems that help our clients regularly collect and analyze real-time data on their programs to figure out what’s working and where more resources are needed to achieve social impact. Performance monitoring systems…


A new paper to equip researchers with the tools they need to make evaluations more decision-relevant. Read the full report here.

A tree in Mukobela Chiefdom, Southern Province, Zambia taken as part of IS Nano pilot. ©IDinsight/Natasha Siyumbwa graphics by Torben Fischer

By Torben Fischer, Daniel Stein, and Doug Johnson

Example scenario:

Minister: I am considering implementing a school feeding program, but I would only like to do so if there is evidence of its effectiveness. Can you help with that?

Evaluator: Why yes, we can help you figure that out with an impact evaluation! Let’s see, similar programs have increased children’s height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) by .2 …


New research shows videos, combined with voice messages, can help farmers learn and adopt new techniques in Andhra Pradesh. This article was originally published in Agrilinks.

These farmlands belong to tribal communities in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. ©IDinsight/William Slotznick

By Daniel Stein, Rupika Singh, and William Slotznick

India has hundreds of thousands of independent farmers working in hard-to-reach areas, and it can be difficult for these agriculture producers to gather the information they need to maximize crop yields and profits. Organizations like Digital Green are dedicated to using technology to provide farmers with training, information about market prices, and other extension services. …


The feedback from enumerators who switched from in-person to phone surveys during COVID-19 provides valuable insights to strengthen phone surveys.

By Emma Kimani and Heather Lanthorn

A phone-charging shop in Kiryandongo owned by a baseline enumerator. ©IDinsight/Heather E Lanthorn February 2020.

When IDinsight was hired by GiveDirectly to assess how cash transfers impacted South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, the team did not anticipate COVID-19 disrupting the project halfway through. But in March 2020, everything switched gears. Although the endline for the impact evaluation was months off, we wanted to understand more immediately how the pandemic was affecting households and whether cash transfers dispersed prior to the pandemic had made a difference in people’s lives. …

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