January 29, 2014 – The McCourt School joined non-profit organizations Evidence Action and Innovations for Poverty Action in co-hosting a symposium on “Taking Evidence to Scale” in Georgetown’s historic Old North. The symposium brought researchers, practitioners, and students from the McCourt School’s Master of International Development Program to discuss the challenges and opportunities during the piloting, evaluation and scaling phases of intervention and development programs abroad.

The symposium, which included speakers from the Gates Foundation and World Bank Development Impact Evaluation Initiative (DIME), focused on the growing role of evidence-based attitude on bridging the gap between research and impact evaluation and scaling successful intervention programs to serve more people. From improving road safety in Kenya to raising student achievement levels in India, the panels included a diverse range of cases studies with varying stages of development. Panelists discussed that intervention programs with successful pilot programs can increase their impact by keeping sustainability and scale in mind, simulating randomized experiment designs, and forging partnerships with local governments.

With governments, philanthropies, international aid agencies, and private sector organization seeking to measure the effectiveness of international development policies, the McCourt School is training today’s future leaders in the growing field of international development. The Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) degree provides students with the essential technical and analytical skills to develop and implement evidence-based policymaking. With Washington, D.C. as the global hub of international development and policy, MIDP students have a unique opportunity to impact policy in real time.

The symposium ended with a celebration of the official launch of Evidence Action. Evidence Action will manage two intervention programs originally incubated at Innovations for Poverty Action: Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water. By scaling across sectors and contexts, Evidence Action hopes to expand on the success of these data-tested programs to serve millions of people in Africa and Asia.