Barbara Befani photo

Barbara Befani - Research Fellow

Barbara no longer works at IDS.

Barbara Befani is an Evaluation Methodologist with a MSc in Social Statistics and a (European) PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies. Since discussing her PhD thesis in Evaluation Methodology, she has gained seven years of experience in designing / conducting evaluation research at the European (EU) and UN levels.

She is co-author of the Stern et al. paper "Broadening the Range of Designs and Methods for Impact Evaluations" (PDF) and co-editor of a methodological compendium on the evaluation of effects of EU Cohesion Policy. She has used and taught about innovative methods such as QCA in assignments for international organizations and agencies.

Her main research interest is rigorous thinking in impact evaluation, including definitions of success, indicators / evidence of impact, causal inference strategies and criteria to mix designs, methods and data collection techniques. She has published on theory-based evaluation approaches, the evaluation-specific logic and small-n methods. She recently became interested in systems thinking, network analysis and complexity theory.

Barbara is an elected Board Member of the European Evaluation Society (2012-2015), a member of INTEVAL (International Research Group on Policy and Program Evaluation), and a member of the American Evaluation Association and the Swedish Evaluation Society.

Earlier this year, Barbara organised Impact, Innovation and Learning: Towards a Research and Practice Agenda for the Future, hosted at IDS. The event brought together leading minds in this field, and set the scene for the launch of the DFID-funded Impact Innovation project as well as the Centre for Development Impact.


Innovative Methods for Research on Social and Political Action in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings

IDS Working Paper 487 (2017)

Fragile and conflict-affected settings present particular challenges for researchers seeking to study the effect of social and political action (SPA). These challenges are not simply due to prevalent violence and conflict, but contexts of insecurity can restrict the flow of information, key actors can be hard to identify, and if information can be found, vital pieces of the picture may be missing. More details


Mixed-Method Impact Evaluation of a Mobile Phone Application for Nutrition Monitoring in Indonesia

IDS Evidence Report 200 (2016)

Child malnutrition (includes both under- and overweight) remains a challenge. Routine growth monitoring is a common practice. More details

This is the cover to IDS Bulletin 46.1, 'Towards Systemic Approaches to Evaluation and Impact'.

Towards Systemic Approaches to Evaluation and Impact

IDS Bulletin 46.1 (2015)

This IDS Bulletin explores new frontiers in international development evaluation, making a useful contribution to an ongoing debate about how to assess effects and effectiveness without ignoring the complexity of the contemporary development landscape. More details

This is the cover for IDS Bulletin 45.6, 'Rethinking Impact Evaluation for Development'.

Rethinking Impact Evaluation for Development

IDS Bulletin 45.6 (2014)

This IDS Bulletin presents a 'rallying cry' for impact evaluation to rise to the challenges of a post-MDG/post-2015 world. It is the first of two issues that follow a workshop entitled 'Impact, Innovation and Learning: Towards a Research and Practice Agenda for the Future', held at IDS in March 2013. More details

ER79 Front Cover

Designing a Mixed-Method Impact Evaluation for a Mobile Phone Application for Nutrition Service Delivery in Indonesia

IDS Evidence Report 79 (2014)

Child undernutrition remains one of the most devastating realities in many parts of the world. The use of mobile phone technology may offer innovative opportunities to tackle persistently high levels of child undernutrition. More details