Our Approach to Development
Reducing poverty and spurring growth in developing countries requires strategic, high-value investment of scarce resources, whether they come from donors, governments, or communities. Interventions to reduce the burden of poverty need to be rigorously identified, tested, and scaled up to be cost-effective and have high impact.
Evidence Action develops and de-risks models for such interventions that allow tens of millions of people to be served and return on investment be measured.
We bridge the gap between rigorous research and pilot interventions on one hand, and institutionalized programs on the other. By focusing on promising approaches backed by rigorous evidence, we support programs that are measurably effective; by seeking to solve the challenge of scale, we provide cost-effective impact for many.
Evidence Action launched formally in 2013 to scale up poverty interventions that have been proven to be effective in order to benefit millions of people.
Evidence Action leads and manages two programs incubated initially by Innovations for Poverty Action: Dispensers for Safe Water and the Deworm the World Initiative. While Evidence Action grew out of a need to manage these programs, the larger goal of the organization was to design a process to bridge the gap between proven interventions that work and scaling them up to produce measurable impact for millions of people.
This led to the creation of Evidence Action Beta in 2014, which sought to test other rigorously-evaluated interventions to be implemented as sustainable programs at scale. Beta tested interventions including No Lean Season, Winning Start, and No Sugar, including conducting randomized controlled trials on programs to determine their suitability for further scaling.
In 2019, our Accelerator replaced Evidence Action Beta, maintaining the emphasis on robust evidence, cost-effectiveness, and impact at scale and prioritizing ready-to-scale interventions that leverage our capabilities in scaled delivery, in particular of health-related programs. The Accelerator employs a program development process designed for rapid scaling and identification of the next generation of flagship programs.
Evidence Action values iteration, evaluation, learning, and adapting. We envision our role as leading a strategic approach to development that fills the gap between “what works” and implementing interventions at scale. By both incubating these proven interventions and also providing technical support and other functional services to our fully scaled programs, we span the continuum of evidence-based development that allows us to lay the foundations for effective monitoring and evaluation from the beginning. By strategically partnering, collaborating, and working with researchers, community members, institutions, and governments, we are looking to build a world where millions of people living in the poorest places have better opportunities and their lives are measurably improved.
Evidence Action today
Evidence Action is dedicated to improving the lives of millions of people across Africa and Asia. Our approach fills the gap between research about “what works” and implementing solutions for people in need. We operate in six countries across the globe and positively impact hundreds of millions of lives every year in a measurable way by delivering our evidence-based interventions where the need and opportunity are greatest.
We provide services to the most vulnerable people in these countries irrespective of their race, religion, gender, or political affiliation. Some of the countries where we operate are representative democracies while others are not. Our operations in a given country in no way reflects an endorsement of that country’s form of government, and we continuously evaluate the political situation wherever we operate.
Evidence Action’s programs in India are implemented through a partnership with EAII Advisors Pvt. Ltd, a for-profit private limited company registered in India.
What makes Evidence Action unique is our process: we spend much of our energy identifying evidence-based interventions, pressure-testing them for scalable feasibility, and designing them to serve millions. We identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms and build best practice operational models. We voraciously self-evaluate, learn, and improve our models for scaling with a commitment to transparency on progress, impact, and value for money.
We lead with our values, putting evidence first. By going where the evidence leads us, it allows our decision making process–how we choose which innovations to scale up and how to constantly evaluate them–to produce programs that have the largest impact for investment.
Our Vision, Mission, and Values
Building a world where hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places have better opportunities and their lives are measurably improved.
Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty.
Evidence first. We are led by the facts. We go where the data takes us. Robust, rigorous evidence informs our choices and decisions.
Think big, act urgently. We are unrelenting in our pursuit of results at scale. We know that poverty does not wait. We act so that the best ideas deliver benefit to millions.
Iterate, again. We reflect constantly and adapt accordingly. We test, measure, and improve to ensure impact. If we can do something, we can do it better.
Economize without compromise. The biggest impact at the lowest cost is what we are after. We ensure value for money for all our stakeholders, but know there is no substitute for quality.
Challenge convention. We ask “why” and “why not” in equal measure. We are sincere in our skepticism and incessant in our search for solutions.
Passion throughout. We are driven to lessen inequality, to improve lives. We take action, converting impatience into impact.