Policy Anticipation, Response and Evaluation

Evidence-based policy is often framed by questioning what works, for whom and in what situations. It is often forgotten that the ability to answer this question depends on knowledge about what has happened, what is happening and what is likely to happen.

Impact evaluation, real-time monitoring and foresight are critical elements of development policy processes. This is particularly so when issues are emergent, complex, or sensitive. Effective short- and medium-term horizon scanning is thus essential. New tools, approaches, and methods are needed to allow governments, donors, NGOs, and businesses to scan, to act, and to measure impact.

The Policy Anticipation, Response and Evaluation programme (2012–17) was commissioned and funded by the UK Department for International Development. In addressing these issues, the programme was organised under three themes: foresight, rapid response, and impact innovation.

The first of the programmes outcomes was stronger and timely evidence-based guidance for governments, donors, and NGOs to respond rapidly to unfolding events and newly emerging issues through horizon scanning and crisis response. The programme also provided extensive new knowledge on innovative approaches for evaluating policy impacts in complex contexts.

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Marjoke Oosterom More details

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Stephen Spratt, IDS Research Fellow More details

Tomorrow Today

Tomorrow Today is a horizon scanning programme designed to support the preliminary but systematic exploration of new and emergent policy issues. More details

View all programme's publications

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ER102 Front Cover

Process Tracing: The Potential and Pitfalls for Impact Evaluation in International Development. Summary of a Workshop held on 7 May 2014

IDS Evidence Report 102 (2014)

In international development there is increasing pressure to demonstrate that aid spending is making a difference. In short, that it is having an ‘impact’. More details

ER100 Front Cover

Non-Communicable Disease and Development: Future Pathways

IDS Evidence Report 100 (2014)

From a biomedical perspective, non-communicable disease (NCD) is not a new problem, particularly in the global North. However, awareness of the increasing burden from these conditions in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs) has only recently emerged in the arena of development policy and practice (Beaglehole et al. 2011). More details

Promoting and Protecting Religious Diversity in the Middle East

Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Relief Efforts

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 8 (2014)

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 15 per cent of the world’s population, or one billion people, have some form of disability. More details

ER98 Front Cover

Workshop Report: Framing Ethics in Impact Evaluation: Where Are We? Which Route Should We Take?

IDS Evidence Report 98 (2014)

This was an interactive workshop – supported by the Institute of Development Studies’ (IDS) Department for International Development (DFID) Accountable Grant and the University of East Anglia (UEA) – with a view to opening up the debate on ethics in impact evaluation to a wider audience in 2015. More details

ER97 Front Cover

A Review of Tax Experiments: from the Lab to the Field

IDS Evidence Report 97 (2014)

Tax revenue mobilisation is attracting increasing attention among researchers and policymakers in developed and developing countries alike. More details

CDI PP8 Front Cover

Assessing Impact in Dynamic and Complex Environments: Systemic Action Research and Participatory Systemic Inquiry

CDI Practice Paper 8 (2014)

This CDI Practice Paper is about the uses of Systemic Action Research (SAR) and Participatory Systemic Inquiry (PSI) for impact assessment (Burns 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013; Wadsworth 2001, 2010). More details

PB74 Front Cover

Using Foresight to Cope with Uncertainty

IDS Policy Briefing 74 (2014)

In an increasingly uncertain world where resources are limited, foresight thinking and approaches provide a critical way for governments and communities to understand and plan for the future. More details

ER94 Front Cover

A Review of Strategic Foresight in International Development

IDS Evidence Report 94 (2014)

The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the published and grey literatures relating to the use of foresight-type approaches and techniques in policy-related work in international development. More details


Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

ER87 Front Cover

What Drives Wind and Solar Energy Investment in India and China?

IDS Evidence Report 87 (2014)

This research is motivated by the need to transform the basis of energy systems from fossil fuels to renewable sources. As well as the imperative of climate change, this transformation is needed to create development trajectories for economies that are genuinely sustainable over the long term. Our objectives are therefore both environmental and developmental. More details

ER84 Front Cover

India Public Opinion Monitor: Causes of Poverty Survey Results

IDS Evidence Report 84 (2014)

The India Public Opinion Monitor (IPOM) is a longitudinal panel of 3,022 opinion leaders from across India that aims to provide an ongoing monitor of opinions and perspectives on the economic and social development of India, and on India’s place in the wider world. More details

ER85 Front Cover

South Africa Public Opinion Monitor: Causes of Poverty Survey Results

IDS Evidence Report 85 (2014)

The South Africa Public Opinion Monitor (SAPOM) is a longitudinal panel of 2,526 opinion leaders from across South Africa that aims to provide an ongoing monitor of opinions and perspectives on the economic and social development of South Africa, and on South Africa’s place in the wider world. More details

ER83 Front Cover

Brazil Public Opinion Monitor: Causes of Poverty Survey Results

IDS Evidence Report 83 (2014)

The Brazil Public Opinion Monitor (BPOM) is a longitudinal panel of 2,672 opinion leaders from across Brazil. It aims to provide an ongoing monitor of opinions and perspectives on the economic and social development of Brazil, and on Brazil’s place in the wider world. More details

ER75 Front Cover

Mobile Phones for Real-time Nutrition Surveillance: Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities for Data Presentation and Dissemination

IDS Evidence Report 75 (2014)

Child undernutrition remains devastatingly high in many low- and middle-income countries Poor nutrition in early childhood (often combined with ill health) has been shown to increase the risk for early mortality, can have long-term and often irreversible effects on physical growth, cognitive and social development, and increases susceptibility to non-communicable diseases in adulthood More details

PB67 Front Cover

Creating Alliances for Renewable Energy Investment: Lessons from China and India

IDS Policy Briefing 67 (2014)

‘Alliances’ of public and private actors can play a crucial role in accelerating the transition to sustainable energy systems, and these groupings can be ‘engineered’. More details

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 7 Front Cover

Addressing Sexual Violence in and beyond the 'Warzone'

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 7 (2014)

Conflict-related sexual violence remains pervasive across the globe, and its widespread use has been reported in Rwanda, Liberia, Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. More details

PB65 Front Cover

Responding to the Threat of Nutrition-related Non-communicable Disease

IDS Policy Briefing 65 (2014)

Shifts in society, demography, technology and the environment are significantly impacting the global burden of disease, with non-communicable disease (NCD) on the rise. Almost half of all deaths attributable to NCD have nutrition as the predominant risk factor (cardiovascular diseases and diabetes). More details

PB63 Front Cover

The Potential and Limits of the ‘Resilience Agenda’ in Peri-urban Contexts

IDS Policy Briefing 63 (2014)

Today, it is acknowledged that peri-urban space plays a critical and increasing role role is still poorly understood and peri-urban areas are rarely recognised in the in relation to urban expansion. Yet this different relevant decision-making spheres, leading to the political and economic marginalisation of peri-urban residents, who are often among the poor. More details

CDIPP7 Front Cover

Improving Co-benefits and 'Triple Win' Impacts from Climate Action: The Role of Guidance Tools

CDI Practice Paper 7 (2014)

This addresses the role of tools in supporting interventions to achieve the ‘triple wins’ of adaptation, mitigation and development. More details

ER63 Front Cover

Exploring the Potential and Limits of the Resilience Agenda in Rapidly Urbanising Contexts

IDS Evidence Report 63 (2014)

More than half the world’s population now live in urban areas. In developing countries, these areas will become home to almost all of the projected 50 per cent population growth that will occur between now and 2030, swelling urban populations by a further 1.3 billion by 2030 and 2.5 billion by 2050 (GMR 2013). More details

(Proactive) Foresight

24 Nov 2015
By Gioel Gioacchino