Marie Gaarder

Director of the Evaluation Office and Global Director for Innovation and Country Engagement


Marie Gaarder provides general leadership, strategic direction and guidance to 3ie’s work in evaluation, innovation and country engagement, in addition to overseeing the evaluation office. She provides thought leadership for improving the quality of impact evaluation and synthesis studies, as well as the range of methodologies that can be used. She is also responsible for initiating and managing research activities and producing papers that highlight 3ie’s experience with impact evaluation. Marie is also responsible for taking a lead role in exploring and introducing new product lines, improved and innovative methodologies, processes and new engagement models, including at the country level. As a member of 3ie’s senior management team, she is responsible for representing 3ie externally and for business development activities.

Marie has over 17 years’ experience managing operational and research projects with a development focus. Prior to joining 3ie, she was a manager in the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group, overseeing thematic, sector, corporate and project evaluations. She has also worked as the director of the evaluation department at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, where she was in charge of independent evaluation of programmes and activities financed over the Norwegian aid budget. She has also previously served as the deputy executive director of 3ie, responsible for the impact evaluation programs, the promotion of evidence-based development policies and systematic reviews. She was a senior social development economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, specializing in social protection and health programs in Central America. 

Marie is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Development Coordinating Group within the Campbell Collaboration and a member of the Research Ethics Review Committee of the Partnership for Economic Policy.

Marie holds a PhD in Economics from University College London, an MSc in Economics from London School of Economics and a graduate degree in Political Science, Arabic and Economics from University of Oslo, Norway, ILI Egypt and University of Hamburg, Germany.

Gaarder M, Barooah, B, Goel, N, Lahore, S, Lopez-Avila, D, Jimenez, E, and Harten, S, 2018. RCTs and rural development – an abundance of opportunities. Forthcoming in Rural21.
Kelly, L and Gaarder, M, 2017. Third Party Monitoring in Volatile Environments - Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks? 11 July 2017. IEG Blog. Available at:
Gaarder, M, 2016. We come in peace! (from ‘Mars Attacks!’).  22 November 2016. IEG Blog. Available at: <>
Strand, J and Gaarder, M, 2016. Getting more Bank for the buck. 27 April 2016. World Bank Blog. Available at: <>
Snilstveit, B, Vojtkova, M, Bhavsar, A, Stevenson, J and Gaarder, M, 2016.  Evidence & Gap Maps: A tool for promoting evidence informed policy and strategic research agendas. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 79, pp. 120–129.
Gaarder, M and Bartsch, U, 2015.  Creating a market for outcomes: shopping for solutions. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 7(3), pp. 304-316.
Gaarder, M and Bartsch, U, 2014. Who cares about development outcomes? market failures and the role of the evaluation function. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 6(4), pp. 361-377.
Gaarder, M, and Annan, J, 2013. Impact evaluation for peacebuilding: challenging preconceptions. In: OW, Andersen, M, Kennedy-Choane, and B, Bull eds. Evaluation methodologies for aid in conflict, Routledge.Ch.7.
Gaarder, M, and Annan, J, 2013. Impact evaluation of conflict prevention and
peacebuilding interventions, Policy Research Working Paper 6496, World Bank.

Masset, E, Gaarder, M, Beynon, P and Chapoy, C,2013. What is the impact of a policy brief? Results of an experiment in research dissemination. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 5(1), pp. 50-63.
Beynon, P, Gaarder, M, Chapoy, C and Masset, E, 2012. Passing on the Hot Potato: Lessons from a Policy Brief Experiment. IDS Bulletin, 43, pp. 68–75.
Gaarder, M, 2012. The impact of cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. June 2012. The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) forum. Available at: <>
Gaarder, M, 2012. Conditional versus unconditional cash: a commentary. Journal of Development Effectiveness,4(1), pp. 130-33
Davis, B, Gaarder, M, Handa, S and Yablonski, J, 2012.Evaluating the impact of cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa: an introduction to the special issue. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 4(1), pp. 1-8.
Gaarder, M and Briceño, B, 2010. Institutionalisation of government evaluation: balancing trade-offs. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2(3), pp. 289-309
Gaarder, M, 2010. Special section introduction: conditional cash transfer programs: opening the black box. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2(1), pp.1-5.
Gaarder, M, Glassman, A and Todd J, 2010.Conditional cash transfers and health: unpacking the causal chain. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2 (1), pp.6-50.
Gaarder, M and White, H, 2009. The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie): an introduction. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 1(3), pp.376-86.
Glassman, A, Todd, J and Gaarder, M, 2007. Performance-based incentives for health: conditional cash transfer programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Center for Global Development Working Paper #120.
Gaarder, M, 2003. The Distributional effects of Illness when recuperation is endogenous. Economics and Sector Study Series, RE2-03-004, Inter-American Development Bank.
Maddison, D and Gaarder, M, 2002. Quantifying and valuing life expectancy changes due to air pollution in developing countries.  In: D, Pearce, C, Pearce and C, Palmer eds. Valuing the Environment in Developing Countries, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.
Gaarder, M, 2002. Can population characteristics account for the variation in health impacts of air pollution? A meta-analysis of PM10-mortality studies. CSERGE Discussion Paper, Available at:<>


Below are some of the large evaluation reports that have been initiated and/or produced under my supervision and quality assurance:

Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2017. Data for Development: An Evaluation of the World Bank Support for Data and Statistical Capacity.
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2017. Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2016.
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2017. Higher Education for Development: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support for Higher Education.
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2016. Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2015.
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2016. Behind the Mirror: A Report on the World Bank Group’s Self-Evaluation Systems
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2016. WBG Engagement in Situations of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2016. Program for Results: An Early-Stage Assessment of the Process and Effects of a New Lending Instrument
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2015. Learning and Results in World Bank Operations. Evaluation II
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2015. World Bank Group Support to Electricity Access, FY2000–FY2014
Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank (IEG/WGB), 2014. Learning and Results in World Bank Operations. Evaluation I
Norad, 2014/1. Can We Demonstrate the Difference that Norwegian Aid Makes? Evaluation Report
Norad, 2014/7. Impact Evaluation of the Norway India Partnership Initiative Phase II for Maternal and Child Health – Baseline. Evaluation Report.
Norad, 2013/4. Evaluation of Five Humanitarian Programmes of the Norwegian Refugee Council and of the Standby Roster NORCAP. Evaluation Report.
Norad, 2012. Use of Evaluations in the Norwegian Development Cooperation System
Norad, 2012. A Study of Monitoring and Evaluation in Six Norwegian Civil Society Organisations.
Norad, 2012. Evaluation of Norwegian Development Cooperation with Afghanistan 2001 – 11
Norad, 2012. Evaluation of the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF)