While it might be self-evident that global development’s challenges require integrated solutions, what is the state of the evidence base to prove that “integrated development” is more effective than sector-specific programming?
Many organizations are looking for ways to better integrate their program areas, so that efforts in natural resource management and efforts in health or education or governance can be mutually reinforcing. But as development organizations strive to implement programs at those intersections, and as they look for funding opportunities, so must they demonstrate that an integrated approach gives them a competitive edge. That takes data and evidence.
“I think the best way to characterize the integrated development evidence base right now is spotty and mixed,” said FHI 360 Technical Officer Tessa Ahner-McHaffie in a recent Devex Google Hangout titled “Evidence, Impact and Innovation within Integrated Development.”
These projects are being done, they’re just not necessarily being rigorously evaluated in a way that looks at the integration,” Ahner-McHaffie said.
Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.
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