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Measuring Impact during Crises: Fostering Agency in the Anthropocene 
Rai Sengupta (Ecorys UK)
Amod Khanna (Towards Action And Learning)
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Amod Khanna (Towards Action And Learning)
Kathryn Scurfield (Ecorys UK)
Joseph Mariasingham (Asian Development Bank)
Palmer 1.04
Thursday 29 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel will explore how development outcomes can be measured during crises in the Anthropocene. It will focus on how impact can be evaluated during context of climate/natural emergencies, to amplify the voices of marginalised groups, and to protect those most vulnerable from such challenges.

Long Abstract:

The crises of the Anthropocene disproportionately impact the poorest populations, particularly in the Global South. While policymakers struggle with mitigating the impacts of such crises, they also struggle with a second crisis: the crisis of evidence. Climate /natural emergencies make it significantly harder to measure development impacts and build evidence-based policies. Further, such crises challenge data collection processes, and reduce the agency of those most affected to voice their experiences and influence policy design.

This panel is planned as a workshop that will explore how impact can be measured during Anthropocene crises, to promote agency in low-resource settings. It will build on two case studies of successful evaluations conducted by the contributor: a national evaluation of India's rural development portfolio, conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic; and a UNICEF-commissioned evaluation of a cash transfer programme, conducted in flood-affected Chin State, Myanmar.

The first part of the workshop will explore why measuring impact during Anthropocene crises is important, and which are the links between human agency and evidence-generation. The second part will highlight best practices/learning gleaned from practical engagement with amplifying marginalised voices during crises - ranging from innovative data collection methods during social distancing, to engaging ethically with research participants in disaster-affected areas. Further, it will highlight how citizen engagement with public policy can be ensured during crises, by invoking participatory approaches and democratising access - thereby enhancing human agency among vulnerable groups. The workshop will include various interactive elements like audience discussion, points of reflection, and short skill recaps.