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Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

Dear colleague:

You already know how the lack of rigorous, independent impact evaluations hinders poverty reduction. Each year billions of dollars are spent on thousands of programs to improve health, education and other social sector outcomes in the developing world. But very few programs benefit from studies that could determine whether or not they actually made a difference. This absence of evidence is an urgent problem: it not only wastes money but denies poor people crucial support to improve their lives.

Now a solution is at hand, and you can help to make it happen. Tomorrow CGD will release the final report of the Evaluation Gap Working Group with a presentation of key findings and a lively expert panel (see "When Will We Ever Learn: Improving Lives through Impact Evaluation" Policy Recommendations from the CGD Evaluation Gap Working Group" for event details and to reserve your seat). The report's recommendations are currently being discussed among stakeholders as a possible framework agreement for collective action.

At tomorrow's launch, I will distribute a statement endorsing the key principles of the need for collective action to close the evaluation gap. This is not a public petition, but rather a call to action signed by a diverse cross-section of the development community. People who sign share the belief that we can and must do a better job of learning from development.
Several prominent development practitioners have already signed in their personal capacity, based on our consultations in Mexico and India. By adding your name to the list today, you can be included when we distribute this call to action at tomorrow's launch event. More importantly, your endorsement can help to make improved impact evaluaiton a reality.

Please take a moment to read the statement now. If you agree, and are able to lend your support by endorsing the statement, e-mail Joselyn DiPetta (jdipetta@cgdev.org).
Please include your full name and organizational affiliation. Organizational affiliations will be used for identification purposes only unless you are the head of your organization and specifically state you are offering a group endorsement (we welcome these, too!).
Thank you for helping to close the evalution gap.

Best regards,
Ruth Levine
Director of Programs and Senior Fellow
Center for Global Development

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