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Centre for Development Impact

The Centre for Development Impact (CDI) contributes to learning and innovation in the field of impact evaluation, through the use of appropriate, mixed-method, and robust evaluation designs. It is a joint initiative between IDS, Itad and the University of East Anglia (UEA).


Debates around impact evaluation have received renewed interest in recent years. Alongside a growing pressure on politicians and policymakers to demonstrate results and value for money, conventional evaluation approaches are being critiqued for lacking in rigour, and/or being too narrowly focused and unable to capture complexity. CDI is a Community of Practice that helps to broaden the range of evaluation designs and methods, and how they are combined, and ways of assessing quality and rigour while acknowledging complex systems. Over the past ten years we have been providing funders and evaluators alike with valuable insights and tools to measure and understand impact.

At CDI, we value:

  • the appropriateness of evaluation design choices to the specific situation and stakeholder learning needs: what questions, in what context, about what intervention components, for what purpose, and within what resource constraints.
  • equitable approaches that include the perspectives of many stakeholders and reflect and amplify the lived experiences of marginalised communities through design, data collection, analysis, and use of the evaluation. 
  • evaluations that improve social accountability to citizens, recognising that knowledge and evidence of impact can be used to shape power relations. 

We achieve this through:

  1. Doing evaluations that provide scope for innovation in a particular domain.
  2. Stimulating and advancing debate among evaluation funders and practitioners on evaluation design and methods.
  3. Developing and delivering training and learning programmes.


Read our CDI Practice Papers

See upcoming training courses

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If you have any queries about CDI, please contact Giovanna Voltolina (


Image: South Africa. Mobile health team visiting rural communities. Credit: Giacomo Pirozzi / Panos