Workshop Report: Framing Ethics in Impact Evaluation: Where Are We? Which Route Should We Take?
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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. Our working assumption is that ethics, while well established in social science research (through standards, codes and institutions), is generally undervalued in impact evaluation. The workshop set out to explore the landscape of ethical practice as it currently exists, with a particular focus on the concerns of practitioners presently involved in implementing impact evaluations. The workshop focused especially on exploring the potential for a broader ethics model, where ethical values and principles inform every part of the evaluation process – both within the evaluation itself, as well as in relation to society. Furthermore, consideration was given to how evaluation fits within the knowledge system that informs international development – and by implication, the extent to which evaluation could/should perform a role in better understanding and critiquing what constitutes ‘good’ (ethical) development.