When Will We Ever Learn (How to Measure Policy Impact)
Main Notes on YRH Policy
September 6, 2007
Noted by Jim Rosen
Preventing AIDS in Young People: A Systematic Review of Evidence in Developing Countries is a must read for anyone in youth RH business. An exhaustive review, this 2006 report from the UNAIDS Interagency Task Team on Youth assesses a vast array of program approaches. But, like so many other recent reviews of program effectiveness, it shies away from judging the effectiveness of interventions that target the policy environment. The reasons being lack of information and lack of rigorous evaluation (see pages 330-331 of the report). A similar inability to say anything concretely about such policy interventions marred the 2001 Focus End-of-Project Report (2.0MB), the chapter on adolescent health (732kb) in the 2006 second edition of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, and the 2005 National Academy of Sciences report Growing Up Global.
Fellow policy wonks: we don’t seem to be making much progress on the evaluation front. We know policy and advocacy efforts are important, but how much do we really know about their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness? With the effort we are putting in, it’s worthwhile to do more and better impact evaluation. Can we link with the Center for Global Development’s Impact Evaluation Initiative? What about the new Gates Foundation-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington?
I am interested in hearing whether anyone out there has tried to “rigorously” evaluate the impact of a youth RH policy initiative. Write me.