Example success cases

The following examples demonstrate cases when our model of decision-focused evaluations has directly informed programmatic decisions. 


Microfinance loans for sanitary latrines

Client: iDE

Country: Cambodia

Finding: Offering consumer financing for sanitary latrine increased sales more than 4-fold, from 12% to 50%, reduced operational cost per sale 70%

Action: iDE is scaling this model

Evaluation time: 3 months

Project page   |   Policy brief   |   Technical report   |   Journal abstract


Mama kits to incentivize institutional delivery

Client: Ministry of Health, Republic of Zambia

Country: Zambia

Finding: Low-cost “mama kits” increased institutional delivery rates by 47%, from 23% to 34%

Action: Mama kits are now on the essential medicines list for government facilities across Zambia and recommended by MoH to maternal health implementing partners.

Evaluation time: 7 months

Project page   |   Policy Brief  |   Technical report   |  World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior   |  Journal Abstract


Community-level point distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs)

Client: Ministry of Health, Republic of Zambia

Country: Zambia

Finding: Point distribution can achieve high ITN ownership and use and reduce costs by 25% versus door-to-door distribution.

Action: Zambia’s ITN distribution guidelines changed to allow point distribution, making large scale ITN distributions faster and more affordable.

Evaluation time: 4 months

Project page   |   Policy Brief  |  Technical report    |   World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior   |  Journal Abstract


Contracting out meter reading and revenue collection

Client: Bihar State Power Holding Company, Government of Bihar

Country: India

Finding: Contracting out electricity meter reading and revenue collection to local enterprises led to a 35% increase in the proportion of paying consumers in rural areas, from 33% to 44%. However, the proportion of consumers whose meters were read did not increase.

Action: The Power Holding Company – despite feedback from some field-staff to shut down these local enterprises – decided to continue the intervention, but with disincentives for not meeting meter-reading targets. Increased revenue will improve electricity supply and expansion of the electrical grid.

Evaluation time: 9 months

Project page


Willingness to pay for Zinc/ORS kits


Country: Zambia

Finding: Re-usable “jar” packaging that is 33% more expensive than flexible plastic packaging did not increase sales of ORS-Zinc product at any price point.

Action: ColaLife uses cheaper packaging for most operations

Evaluation time: 2 months

Project page   |   Technical report (rural)   |   Technical report (urban)