The Beta Pipeline
Evidence Action maintains a pipeline of promising innovations, all of which are at different phases of our testing process.
At each phase of exploration, these interventions are examined along four key criteria to determine whether they should advance through the pipeline or be exited. We apply these four criteria throughout our program development process, giving greater or lesser emphasis to certain criteria depending on what is appropriate at each phase of innovation and testing. Our filtering criteria include:
Impact: We look for ideas that are backed by research. As we use these ideas to build testable prototypes, we also consider impact more comprehensively: does the initial impact registered in research hold in the real world? In a new context? Over time? When implemented at scale: how does an idea impact economic markets (general equilibrium effects) or third parties (externalities) measure against its impact on beneficiaries?
Cost-effectiveness: We strive to find solutions that have the maximum impact for every dollar spent. Cost-effective programs have a high value for money and are better than alternative solutions at achieving a measurable outcome. We use cost-effectiveness analysis to provide insight on the relative costs and effects of different interventions, which ultimately inform potential program impact. We also use cost-effectiveness analysis to provide general comparability of alternative interventions, and help inform priorities for resource allocation.
Scalability: We only invest in delivering services that have the potential to reach millions of people. Interventions that are, intrinsically, impossible to scale, or that do meet a real need faced by millions of people, do not make the cut. If, for any reason, we find we (or other implementing partners) cannot deliver a particular intervention at scale, we exit it from our pipeline.
Strategic fit: Evidence Action recognizes that some projects are better suited for our organization than others. We account for our strengths and limitations when deciding whether to pursue an idea, and we prioritize projects that align with our organizational strategy and infrastructural capacity, including those that have the potential to maximize the impact of our existing programs, or which leverage our existing program delivery platforms.