The Visayas State University (VSU), in partnership with the Visayas Socio-Economic Research and Data Analytics Center (ViSERDAC), conducted a five-day live-in Training-Workshop on Selected Quantitative Methods for Project Impact Evaluation on 7-11 January 2019 at VSU, Baybay City for National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) VIII technical staff. To maximize the benefit of the training-workshop, the local government units of the Province Southern Leyte, Tacloban City and Ormoc City were also invited. It was attended by a total of 30 participants including the VSU evaluators.

The training-workshop primarily aims to equip the participants with skills in assessing the impact of development projects.

It is also part of the Terms of Reference of the two (2) Impact Evaluation (IE) studies the VSU is currently undertaking as commissioned by NEDA VIII. These are on the: (1) Agri-Pinoy Livestock Program (A-PLP) in Samar Island and (2) Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project, Phase III (ARISP-III) in Eastern Visayas, that will be completed in March 2019. The said IE studies will assess the contribution of the programs in poverty reduction and inclusive growth, and will also provide a reference for policy/decision makers in the appraisal and approval of future similar development projects.

VSU President Edgardo E. Tulin, in his opening remarks, said that the training will enable participants to undertake impact assessment. He articulated that project impact assessment is one of the priorities of the VSU administration to guide the government on what to do in the future.

NEDA VIII OIC-RD Meylene C. Rosales, in her message delivered by Chief Economic Development Specialist Ernesto T. Octaviano, said that the training is a great opportunity for the participants to learn new skills in undertaking different impact evaluation studies in the future. Also, OIC-RD Rosales said that the NEDA VIII has been undertaking Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) on the implementation of development plans and the various programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) in Region VIII, to determine and assess whether or not government interventions are successful.

The training-workshop included lectures on the following topics: 1) Impact Assessment Framework and Dimensions; 2) Mapping Inputs to Benefits; 3) Data Collection in Impact Assessment Using Open-Data Kit (ODK); 4) Adoption Studies in Impact Assessment; 5) Productivity and Technical Efficiency Analysis; 6) Propensity Score Matching; 7) Difference-in-Difference Method; and 8) Benefit-Cost Approach to Impact Assessment.

In her closing message, Dr. Fe Gabunada, Team Leader for the NEDA VIII IE studies, articulated that she is grateful to NEDA VIII for giving VSU the opportunity to conduct the IE studies. Dr. Gabunada hoped that the learnings in the training-workshop will be applied by the participants, and she assured that VSU is willing to help those who will need support in undertaking impact evaluation projects in the future.

Article by Ana Rose R. Magdalaga, PMED, NEDA VIII