Department For International Development
The incidence of using prizes (of any kind) to achieve social and development goals is increasing. And yet there is a dearth of information on how to evaluate prizes for development and thus a lack of evidence that prizes represent an effective and appropriate funding alternative for achieving development outcomes, as a driver of innovation and behaviour change.
There are few examples in the public domain of how prize funders, managers and evaluators have approached this and with what results. There is a gap in the literature in terms of prize evaluation reports either these evaluations are not happening, or they are not being made public. Where evaluations and internal reports on prizes are available, these often lack detail on how the evaluation was carried out and they take award of prize money as the end of the story.
This paper aims to fill this gap by sharing our experiences of evaluating a set of prizes run as part of the Ideas to Impact programme which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), over the last 5 years. With the purpose of guiding and informing future evaluations of prizes for development, it draws out implications, lessons and recommendations for those funding, commissioning, managing and undertaking evaluations of prizes.
The paper may also be of interest to the broader evaluation community, for example to inform the evaluation of initiatives with similar features to prizes, such as challenge funds and results-based financing.
Gould, C., Brown, C. and Stott, C., 2020. Evaluating the results of innovation prizes for development: Re?ections and recommendations from practice. Ideas to Impact, UK.