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Real geek: Out in the open, Oxfam’s impact evaluation survey data now available for download

Posted by Simone Lombardini Global Impact Evaluation Adviser

26th Sep 2016

Participants of a session on how to empower women to take part in political life as part of Oxfam's AMAL programme in Yemen. Credit: Thana Faroq/Oxfam

Through the effectiveness reviews, Oxfam collects a large amount of individual and household survey data. In this blog, we explain why we are making these data available, and where to find them.

We talked about this in previous blogs and presentations, and I am happy to finally be able to announce that the individual and household survey data we collected and used for the Effectiveness Review series (impact evaluations conducted as part of Oxfam GB's Global Performance Framework) are available for download. 

The Effectiveness Reviews - which started back in 2011 - are a series of project evaluations conducted under six different thematic areas, with the aim of understanding and assessing whether Oxfam's work is resulting in positive change. Evaluations carried out under the thematic areas of Livelihoods, Resilience and Women's Empowerment have mainly employed individual and household survey data, using quasi-experimental methods to estimate project's impact. 

Since 2011, we have conducted more than 50 impact evaluations in 30 different countries using quasi-experimental methods, and are committed to being transparent with the results - with all the evaluation reports published on Oxfam's Policy & Practice website. Now, we are going one step further - making it is possible to download the anonymised household and individual data used for conducting statistical analysis, alongside the questionnaires.

We hope to increase learning opportunities across the sector by making primary data available to other researchers Why are we doing this? We believe that by making our data accessible to everyone and allowing others to replicate the analysis, we increase the transparency and the credibility of the results of our evaluations.  And in that way, it serves an accountability and transparency function, and supports our commitment to continuous improvement of the processes through which we collect and handle the data. Releasing these data encouraged us to re-think and improve the way we collect, store, and analyse our data, in line with the Oxfam Responsible Data Policy, and has helped make our data collection process safer and more consistent.  

Perhaps more importantly, we hope to increase learning opportunities across the sector by making primary data available to other researchers. We are conscious that a lot of time and effort from everyone goes into contributing and collecting these data and that the data analysis we do in our Effectiveness Reviews is only scraping the surface, and so want to ensure other researchers are able to help fulfil the data's full potential.

Conducting these assessments gave Oxfam's impact evaluation advisers the opportunity to explore and investigate different aspects of measuring resilience and women's empowerment. Some of the learning has already been shared here: Measuring Resilience: Lessons learned from measuring resilience in Oxfam's large-N Effectiveness Reviews, A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Resilience, Still learning: a critical reflection on three years of measuring women's empowerment in Oxfam, and much more is yet to come. By making these data available, we hope more students and researchers will be able to explore questions that we did not have the time and opportunity to tackle and that they will be in touch to share their findings.

Please find below the list of evaluations for which the data are currently available. For future evaluations, we will publish the anonymised datasets 12 months after the publication of the report. Get in touch if you have any comments or questions, and we hope you will use these data and find them useful.

Download the data

The following survey data is available for download, listed by theme and geographic focus. From the report's page on Policy and Practice, follow the link to the UK Data Service, which will bring you to the permanent DOI. From the Full catalogue record you will be able to download the questionnaires and download the anonymised data. 

 Resilience       
 Women's empowerment      
 Livelihoods
 • Mali
• Honduras
 • Colombia
 • Nepal
 • Lebanon
 • Ethiopia
 • Nicaragua
 • Pakistan
 • Honduras
 • Niger
 • Rwanda
 • Philippines
 • Pakistan
 • Uganda
 • Somalia
 • Thailand
   

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Photo: Participants of a session on how to empower women to take part in political life as part of Oxfam's AMAL programme in Yemen. Credit: Thana Faroq/Oxfam

Blog post written by Simone Lombardini

Global Impact Evaluation Adviser

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Simone Lombardini