Current status: impactAFRICA has now closed applications for round three


impactAFRICA has partnered with the World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund to present monthly online webinars by global development experts and media strategists.

Are you interested in taking part in impactAFRICA webinars in future? Subscribe to our mailing list today for email alerts.

These webinars are designed to help impactAFRICA applicants understand critical issues facing policy-makers across the developing world.

The webinars feature experts on health, education, and early childhood nutrition, and underscore the importance of evidence-based policy-making for programmes that deliver results. While the webinar series was developed for journalists in Africa who cover these issues, they will also be useful for global students, development practitioners, policy makers and others who want to improve their knowledge of development issues and how to measure impact.

Webinar 1: Measuring the impact of development projects

How can we know whether development programmes are really working? To better report on poverty, health, education and more, journalists need to understand how experts measure the impact of development programmes. In this webinar, Dave Evans, Senior Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank, explores these methods, and offers a “top 5” list of techniques and tools to improve reporting on the issues.

This webinar is moderated by former ICFJ Knight Fellow, Chris Conte.

Resources mentioned in this Webinar:
How to Know What Works and Why, Impact Evaluation as a Tool for Responsible Reporting
Additional resources:
An excellent, non-technical book published by the World Bank, Impact Evaluation in Practice (also available in French and Portuguese
Development Impact blog, which highlights many current studies
The World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund has an array of videos and links
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation has links to studies and to systematic reviews
The Development Impact Evaluation group at the World Bank has guidance on impact evaluations in many areas

Short clips from this Webinar:
What tips do you have for reporting on impact?
How can journalists build trust with researchers?
Where can journalists find data from impact evaluations?

Webinar 2: Early childhood nutrition, health and education

impactAFRICA's second webinar focused on early childhood growth and development, an important topic that includes issues of health, nutrition and education. Participants discussed how journalists can use measurements of children's health and development to report on poverty and the negative, lasting impacts into adulthood.

Experts: Leslie K. Elder, a World Bank Senior Nutrition Specialist in the Health, Nutrition and Population Group + Emanuela Galasso, a World Bank Senior Economist in the Development Research Group

Moderator: Brenda Wilson, former NPR health journalist and ICFJ Knight Fellow

Resources mentioned in this Webinar:
Early childhood nutrition, health and education

Short clips from this Webinar:
How can journalists and policy experts work together?
Are there stories that go unreported about early childhood health in Africa?
Recap of impactAFRICA webinar — Surviving and Thriving: Early Childhood Development

Webinar 3: How journalists can use data to improve reporting on water and sanitation issues

What is the connection between clean water and good health? How do governments provide clean water in sprawling and overcrowded cities? Water and sanitation is a complex and under-reported subject that intersects areas of governance, health, environment, well-being and human rights. In this webinar, World Bank experts showcase how to better understand and report on access to and demand for clean water and improved sanitation. The experts look at different approaches to framing and explain these issues and how to best use data to simplify and localise them.

Experts: Emily Christensen Rand, a World Bank Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, and Christian Borja-Vega, a World Bank Economist with the Water Global Practices
Moderator: Christopher Conte, Former ICFJ Knight Fellow

Short clips from this Webinar:
Why do water and sanitation issues matter?
Where can journalists get access to water quality data?
Where can journalists find water and sanitation stories?
Are there water and sanitation issues that need more coverage?

Webinar 4: Reporting on mother and child healthcare

According to the United Nations, maternal mortality has fallen by 45 percent since 1990. Globally, preventable child deaths have decreased by over 50 percent. What makes a health program successful? What policies are helping improve healthcare? During this webinar, journalists will hear from World Bank experts on what makes a successful health program. Tune in to learn more about the importance of data-driven analysis to understand successful approaches to healthcare.

Experts: Arndt Reichert, an economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank & Marcus Holmlund, an economist with Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) in the World Bank’s Research Group (

Moderator: Christopher Conte, Former ICFJ Knight Fellow

Short clips from this Webinar:
Where can journalists find impact evaluations about healthcare issues online?
How to find data to use alongside anecdotes in health trend stories
Why should journalists work together with healthcare researchers?

Webinar 5: Reporting on education
Giving journalists the knowledge and data to cover major education concerns in their countries

Educational achievement is an essential driver of development and one of the most effective tools for reducing poverty and narrowing the opportunity gap between men and women. Given the transformative effect of education on society, journalists have a strong interest in learning how to use proven case studies and data to expose education challenges and prompt meaningful change. According to the United Nations, enrollment in primary education in the developing world reached 91 percent in 2015, up from 83 percent in 2000. With increasing enrollment, attention is shifting toward improving the quality of education.

How can journalists identify the challenges that schools face in enhancing student learning? How can their investigations motivate the government and schools to take action and maintain accountability? Tune in to this webinar to hear experts from the World Bank discuss the major obstacles to student learning and how impact evaluation is testing new methods for journalists to assess their coverage of schools.

This webinar discussion will cover how journalists can investigate topics more directly correlated with student learning, such as whether teachers show up, what they do in the classroom and whether raising parental involvement can improve schools’ accountability.

Experts: Dave Evans, a Senior Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank
Moderator: Christopher Conte, Former ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow

Short clips from this Webinar:
6 tips for reporting on education issues
Why is it important for the media to cover educational access and quality?
How can journalism make a difference in education policy?