Since 2008 EPAR has provided an ongoing stream of research and analysis to help inform investment strategies aimed at alleviating some of the world’s most complex and pressing economic, agricultural, public health, and environmental challenges. 

Over the past decade, we have prepared more than 380 technical reports and briefs focusing on emerging issues in agricultural development, financial services, poverty reduction, gender equity, development policy, technology adoption, and measurement and evaluation. EPAR's research includes:

  • “State of the knowledge” literature & evidence reviews and analyses on the current strength of research on a field of interest – the basis for evidence-based decision making;
  • Statistical data analyses and other quantitative and qualitative research using the latest statistical, mapping, data visualization, spreadsheet, and programming tools;
  • Portfolio analyses and strategy support to analyze and measure collectively – across a group of grants – how investments are performing, how they are aligned with strategy and desired outcomes, and how past investments can inform a foundation’s future strategy; and
  • Knowledge dissemination to publicly share EPAR’s work with other audiences through academic publications, technical reports, presentations, visualizations, blogs, and shared data.

EPAR works on three core streams of international development research and analysis. Questions related to gender, adoption, and measurement cross-cut our work in different development sectors and with all our partners.

  • Gender: How do differences in constraints and preferences among individuals in a given household affect the design, delivery, and success of development interventions? Does targeting women improve their opportunities relative to men, and how can unintended consequences of interventions be avoided?
  • Adoption: What drives people to begin using new technologies and practices that research indicates will improve their lives? How does providing information and education to targeted beneficiaries affect adoption and long-term sustained use?
  • Measurement: What are the consequences of how evaluators choose to measure baseline, progress, and outcome indicators? How might results be affected by measurement error and bias?

Follow the links in the diagram to explore some of our research under these streams.

In addition to our three central research streams, EPAR also conducts research relating to two strategic initiatives.

Strategic Initiative I: Socially Efficient Provision of Public Goods

Why do public, private, and philanthropic funders choose to finance the development and provision of public goods with limited or uncertain financial returns to the investor? Global public goods, such as research that produces new vaccines, drought-resistant seed varieties, or communications technology, can benefit populations around the world without diminishing the goods’ availability to others.  We examine the roles and incentives of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors in financing these public goods in sectors including global health, agriculture, and the environment.

Strategic Initiative II: Communicating Collective Impact

What is the overall impact of international development investment and interventions? Do funders’ investments align with their goals, and how can results be measured and shared to maximize collective impact? EPAR seeks to answer these questions through comprehensive reviews of investment portfolios, stakeholder convening, and support of open source programs and open data.

EPAR conducts confidential and public portfolio reviews to support foundations seeking to understand the impacts of their investments and develop strategies to enhance desired impacts.