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Evidence Action’s New 5 Year Strategy

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I’m excited to share Evidence Action’s strategy and plans for the next 5 years. This includes a redoubling of our commitment to our existing flagship programs, coupled with an evolution in our approach to developing new programs.

Our strategy was created with our core purpose – scaling evidence-based, cost-effective solutions to reduce the burden of poverty – at the center.

Our existing vision, mission, and values were pillars of the strategy development process. Given the strong progress we have made already – measurably improving the lives of 280 million people a year within just six years of operations – and the evident need for our work, we sought to chart an ambitious path forward.

By 2024 Evidence Action plans to double our impact, measurably improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people and leading the way in evidence-based, cost-effective international development.

To achieve this goal, we will pursue three strategic objectives:

1. Impact at Scale: continue investing in our existing flagship programs – extending their reach and refining their approach to measurably improve the lives of millions of people

We will build on the success of our two flagship programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water, to give millions more people access to deworming medication and safe drinking water. We will reach new geographies and explore new ways of working, ensuring that the current high quality of both programs is maintained and, where possible, improved still further.

2. Next Generation Programs: develop new flagship programs that can achieve comparable levels of scale and impact to existing flagships through a focused, accelerated approach

We will scale two or more new flagships that deliver impact at similar levels of scale and quality to our existing flagships. Doing so will require an intensity of focus and an accelerated approach to program development. We will primarily focus on interventions that are:

  • ‘Ready to scale’, where a strong evidence base already exists and where the remaining questions to resolve relate primarily to delivery at scale.
  • In health and adjacent sectors of WASH and nutrition, where there is a concentration of opportunities with a strong evidence base, a credible pathway to scale, and high cost-effectiveness.

These focus areas make the best possible use of our distinctive competencies, are responsive to government partner interest, leverage our groundbreaking track record of delivering such programs, and recognize an ongoing gap in achieving delivery at scale. This approach thereby ensures that our scarce resources and attention are dedicated to solutions with the highest likelihood of delivering measurable impact at scale.

To create the best possible conditions for building these next generation programs, we are creating a new ‘Accelerator’ to replace the Beta incubator. The Accelerator will employ a program development process designed to rapidly identify and grow the next generation of flagship programs. It will prioritize ready-to-scale interventions that leverage our capabilities in scaled delivery while maintaining our emphasis on robust evidence, cost-effectiveness, and impact.

3. Arcs of Influence: use the knowledge gained from program development and delivery to pursue specific changes in policy and practice, amplifying our impact

We will use our programming knowledge and experience to influence others and bring about targeted changes in policy and practice that ultimately reach millions more people. We will identify a small number of ‘arcs of influence’ – measurable changes drawing on our core work, and with the potential to dramatically magnify our impact with high return on investment. These targets will be pursued with a similar level of rigor and iteration that we apply to our programmatic work, increasing investment only when early work shows promise.

Way Forward

Our goal and aspirations represent an ambitious agenda for Evidence Action, our partners, and our supporters in the coming years – a rallying cry for us to continue to do more and do better for those we serve. At our core, evidence, cost-effectiveness, and scale potential will continue to guide our pursuit of measurable impact. This strategy will ensure that Evidence Action’s scarce resources and attention are dedicated to solutions with the highest likelihood of delivering measurable impact at scale. It will enable us to urgently deliver a new generation of flagship programs, matching the urgency needed to reduce the burden of poverty for the hundreds of millions of people that Evidence Action exists to support.

We will share more about the rationale for these strategic shifts in the coming months – stay tuned for further insights.


Focus Area(s)