March 18, 2018

An evaluation puzzle: Loaves and fishes

Oxfam fixes the road after the flood, and Save the Children fixes the school.

The school couldn’t have been fixed without the road.

Both of the charities report to the UNs standardised reporting format, and both record their contribution as one school fixed”. Both argue: if our organisation hadn’t stepped in, the school wouldn’t have been built (counterfactual) but we did step in, and it was. Ergo, our organisation caused the fixing of the school.

So when the UN aggregates the reports, will it find that a total of two schools were repaired?

You are asked to comment on the reports.


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An evaluation puzzle: “Many hands” In its report, CARE say they saved the villagers from being swept away in the flood. A critic argues, even if CARE hadn’t intervened

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