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Evidence-informed decision-making in a complex world

Time (GMT +00) 16:00 17:30

Contributing chair

Louise Shaxson@LouiseShaxson - Research Fellow, Research and Policy in Development (RAPID), ODI


Gina Porter - Senior Research Fellow, Durham University

Irene Guijt @guijti - Head of Research, Oxfam

Nasreen Jessani @NasreenJessani - Associate, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Melanie Knetsch @Mel_Knetsch - Strategic Lead for Innovation and Interdisciplinarity, Economic and Social Research Council


In a fast changing world, development progress is complex: solutions are neither simple nor obvious. There is growing recognition among research and policy communities that flexible and adaptive approaches are the best way to address this complexity, and to deliver sustainable and inclusive change.

Decision-making is inherently political. And in a so called 'post-truth' world, the relationship between evidence and decision-making is becoming even more challenging. But, at the same time, the rise of populist politics and attacks on aid are likely to be driving some donors towards simpler, more technocratic, definitions of impact. Accountability to funders and value for money may squeeze out complexity thinking and learning.

This panel debate event asks a diverse panel of donor, academic and non-governmental organisations: how do you navigate this tension to inform your day-to-day decision-making?

This event is co-hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and supported by The Impact Initiative for International Development Research and the ESRC-DFID Strategic Partnership. It marks the launch of the IDS edited collection The Social Realities of Knowledge for Development: Sharing Lessons of Improving Development Processes with Evidence.

203 Blackfriars Road London