Reporting impact? Be specific

David Mckenzie recommends that when reporting impact, The World Bank Group ought to move away from throwing out numbers as –

Data from IFC clients across all regions shows 2.4 million jobs provided in 2010, of which 665,000 were jobs for women

In 2009, our clients provided 2.2 million jobs, including nearly 514,000 in the manufacturing and services sectors

to more specific, evidence-based reporting such as –

Land titling reform in Rwanda increased female land ownership and tripled the proportion of women who invested in their land through soil conservation.

A pilot program in Jordan found job vouchers quadrupled the share of married graduates in employment 8 months after graduation (see page 301 in the WDR, ongoing work is measuring the longer-term impacts).

Cambodia’s scholarship program, supported by the World Bank, increased school attendance rates of adolescent girls by about 25 percentage points.

In doing so, he makes several good points about why the present ‘impact’ statistics are not just misleading, but also quite inaccurate. Not to pull up the bank on this one, it really is the standard mode for reporting impact. Its not very unlike the hordes of NGO signboards one sees in poor communities. Any change to status quo is definitely welcome.

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