The December 7th conference in Washington DC aims to bring together academics and practitioners who share a focus on experimental research methods and policy-relevant research and evaluation in developing country contexts. Practitioners will include government, donor, and international organizations that support and engage with local, in-country networks.

Sessions will be co-presented by academics and practitioner teams to showcase joint research collaborations, including discussions on the following topics:

  • Identifying and discussing different goals and incentives of academics vs. practitioners
  • Learning cases of failed and successful research collaborations
  • Finding better connections between knowledge accumulation and practitioner learning
  • Considering ethics and methods in research design and benefits to study populations
  • Best practices in matchmaking between academics and practitioners

Format: The agenda is organized around three stages of the research process (setting the research questions, design implementation, and uptake), all of which may have different associated best practices. Each session will begin with 8- to 10-minute mini presentations from two academic/practitioner teams. The same two teams will present at the beginning of each session, focusing on experiences from their collaboration that relate directly to that session’s theme. The first team will consist of a research collaboration between MIT GOV/LAB and Twaweza. The second team will consist of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and EGAP.

Following the presentations, there will be cafe-style group discussions to identify solutions and best practices. For these discussions, practitioners will be assigned to be table hosts, and the academics will rotate between the tables for each session. This method maximizes exposure amongst participants while allowing the table hosts to build the conversation and feedback over the consecutive rounds. Each table will have about 8 participants at any given time. Paper and markers will be provided for notes, and also for very brief reporting back to plenary after each discussion session.

Invited participants:

  • International Republican Institute
  • Office of Evaluation Sciences, GSA
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • FHI 360
  • Twaweza
  • U.S. State Department
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • USAID Center of Democracy, Human Rights, & Governance
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • George Washington University
  • Mercy Corps
  • Cornell University
  • research4impact
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Transparency and Accountability Initiative
  • Global Integrity
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Georgetown University
  • Ryerson University
  • New York University
  • World Bank, Development Impact Evaluation (DIME)
  • National Democratic Institute
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems

For more information about the EGAP research network, visit