Marjanovic Participates in Conference on Measuring Impact of Higher Education for Development

Sonja Marjanovic

Sonja Marjanovic, senior analyst at RAND Europe, presented and was part of a panel of discussants at the "Measuring Impact of Higher Education for Development" conference, 19-20 March 2012 at Birkbeck College, London.

The conference was organised by the London International Development Centre (LIDC) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

At the conference, Marjanovic spoke about evaluation of complex research capacity-building interventions in real-time, drawing from the experience of evaluating the Wellcome Trust-funded African Institutions Initiative.

In mid-2009, the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest charity, developed the African Institutions Initiative and invested nearly £30 million in seven consortia designed to build sustainable, independent health research capacity at African institutions in areas relevant to the health and livelihood needs of African countries, regions, and their populations.

RAND Europe is leading a four-year evaluation of this capacity-building initiative to provide a thorough, transparent and evidence-based assessment process for each consortium; and to facilitate and disseminate lessons learnt about effective capacity building approaches, from the evaluation of the initiative as a whole. The evaluation should be of relevance to policy makers, funders and researchers engaged in networked capacity building efforts globally.

Marjanovic's presentation at the LIDC was methodologically focused. It discussed the purposes of evaluating research and capacity building interventions, the factors influencing an appropriate evaluation approach and design, and the challenges and opportunities that are associated with real-time and realist evaluation approaches. Her presentation also highlighted some points to consider in developing indicators for complex research capacity-building interventions.

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