The year 2014 was one of innovation and impact at 3ie. We introduced new approaches to our studies on the impact of interventions to reduce the incidence of HIV, including funding formative research, pilot interventions and rapid impact evaluations, as well as strengthened engagement to ensure decision makers have evidence that is useful and timely.
Through 2014, almost half of completed or nearly completed 3ie impact evaluations have had policy impact. 3ie continues to fund evidence production that informs policy and improves programming, including scaling up successful interventions; showing what is not working; informing programme redesigns and new programme designs; and improving the culture of the use of evidence. 3ie-supported studies have resulted in the redesign of education programmes in India and social welfare programmes in Ethiopia; the introduction of a tax break for employing youth in South Africa; and the provision of non-monetary incentives for tax officials in Pakistan. 3ie-funded evidence has also influenced donors and programme managers working in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.
3ie is also fostering critical innovation and filling large knowledge gaps by supporting impact evaluation grant windows in areas such as climate change and disaster-risk reduction; transparency and accountability of governance of natural resources and extractives; and humanitarian emergencies.
Our growing replication programme also demonstrates our dedication to research transparency. During 2014, 3ie launched its first rolling replication window with a specific thematic focus on HIV prevention.
We also launched an innovative funding modality: the Country Policy Window, to stimulate demand for impact evaluations and to bring donors, implementing agencies and impact evaluation researchers together at the national level to help generate high-quality and useful evidence on national development priorities. The first one, Philippines Policy Window, has been commissioned by Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in collaboration with the Philippine’s National Economic and Development Authority. The studies will cover a range of issues, such as youth employment, poverty mitigation, supplementary feeding for children, peace-building activities and local determination of developmental priorities.
As a global leader in funding the production of high-quality evidence, we continued to support rigorous impact evaluations and full systematic reviews. Last year we funded 26 impact evaluations, 3 systematic reviews and awarded 32 grants to researchers to prepare high-quality proposals for impact evaluations. 3ie, in responding to demand, expanded its capacity to produce evidence gap maps and rapid evidence reviews.
We sponsored our third international conference on impact evaluation and the first one in Asia, Making Impact Evaluation Matter: better evidence for effective policies and programmes, which brought together over 600 participants. We also held the first London Evidence Week where we launched the 3ie Howard White lecture series in honour of the first executive director. Each year, 3ie will invite a distinguished international development professional to deliver a lecture on a topic related to 3ie’s mission.
Our grantees presented 3ie-funded studies at over 500 events, and 3ie staff participated in over 130 events in 2014. Together they reached over 1,200 policymakers in 2014. Last year we recorded over 77 media citations of 3ie, including in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian and The Hindu. We produced the first 3ie video lecture series of 15 videos covering introductions to impact evaluation, systematic reviews and policy engagement. 3ie staff contributed to methods briefs on the building blocks of impact evaluation for the new web-based UNICEF impact evaluation series.
The 3ie board was very pleased to announce the appointment of Emmanuel (Manny) Jimenez to succeed Howard White in early 2015. Manny Jimenez comes to 3ie after 30 years at the World Bank Group where, most recently, he was the director of public sector evaluations in the Independent Evaluation Group.
The Indian government granted branch office status to 3ie in June 2014 and we executed a successful administrative and financial transfer from our host institution, Global Development Network.
We believe that these efforts and our continued emphasis on innovation and impact will result in better and policy-relevant evidence to make development more effective and thereby help improve poor people’s lives.