Whether undertaking research to inform a partner’s strategy, designing a new program, or optimizing a successful one already operating at scale, R4D works with partners to generate the evidence and feedback necessary to inform decisions.
We conduct targeted research using methods such as randomized control trials (RCTs) to answer questions relevant to donor and practitioner strategies, such as, “Can transparency and accountability interventions improve health outcomes? And why or why not?” We help partners use monitoring systems to get valuable feedback in real-time, such as regular tracking of student literacy progress. And we work with partners to design, experiment with and evaluate solutions to accelerate their impact, such as testing different approaches to increase parents’ use of mobile technology to read to their kids.
Our engagements involve some or all of the following stages:
- Understand challenges: Understanding performance challenges and defining impact goals
- Identify solutions: Reviewing existing evidence and defining a defensible theory of change for the program or intervention
- Design & Experiment: Prototyping, piloting and refining solutions based on ongoing and regular qualitative and quantitative feedback
- Evaluate: Evaluating the impact of those solutions
- Monitor: Scaling up, monitoring and identifying areas for improvement based on regular feedback
All of our engagements involve regular Learning Checks, during which we come together with our partners to review findings from the data collected and discuss implications for program implementation. This gives partners the opportunity to reflect on the learning activities, to brainstorm and plan for how the findings can support the refinement of future implementation, and to iterate accordingly. We also look for opportunities to share our learnings with peer programs and the broader development community.