A 3ie-supported study evaluating the impact of the vocational education and training programme in rural China programme has been featured The Economist (23 August).
3ie is happy to announce the winners of the Impact Evaluation Repository challenge. In the last two months, we received 97 study submissions from more than 25 people.
Of the 97 studies submitted, 63 were eligible impact evaluations and were immediately added to the Impact Evaluation Repository. Of these, 32 studies** (and one correction) were published before 2013 and should have been found in our last search (thus are eligible for our $10 Amazon.com gift certificate prizes).
These studies are invaluable in our efforts to improve our systematic search and screening protocol and provide the international development community with the most up-to-date, published impact evaluation evidence available.
We would like to sincerely thank the following people for sending their approved impact evaluation studies to the Impact Evaluation Repository. As always, we encourage you to send any published impact evaluations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) will be holding its 3rd annual conference at UC Berkeley on 11-12 December 2014. Papers on new tools and strategies to increase the transparency of research are invited. Topics include, but are not limited to: pre-registration and the use of pre-analysis plans; disclosure and transparent reporting; replicability and reproducibility; data sharing;
methods for detecting and reducing publication bias or data mining.
Papers or long abstracts must be submitted by 10 October 10 (midnight Pacific time) through CEGA’s Submission Platform. Travel funds will be provided for presenters. Submission can be of completed papers or works in progress.
Evidence Aid will hold a 2-day course on systematic reviews on 13-14 November at 10.00-16.30 at the Queen's University, Belfast. The course will place systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid, both medical and non-medical.
To apply, please write to Claire Allen email@example.com providing your contact details and up to 100 words on why they would like to attend the course. Attendees will be allocated a place on a 'first come, first served' basis.
William Savedoff of the Center for Global Development blogs on 3ie's journey from being a start-up to maturity. The appointment of Emmanuel (Manny) Jimenez as the new executive director marks a transition in the organisation.
"With the transition to a new executive director, 3ie will be able to build on past success while drawing on the different qualities and depth of experience and expertise that Manny Jimenez will bring to the post," says Savedoff.
The announcement of the Emmanuel Jimenez as the next 3ie executive director was featured on Hindustan Times (23 July 2014), the Indian national daily.
The Global Development Network in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the Next Horizons Essay Contest 2014 . Essays on the future of development assistance are invited for submission. Submissions can be sent in English, French or Spanish.
Up to 20 winning entries chosen by an international jury will receive 20,000 USD each. Submission deadline: 15 September 2014.
The Chair of 3ie, Richard Manning, has announced that the 3ie Board of Commissioners has appointed Emmanuel Jimenez to succeed Howard White as the executive director of 3ie in early 2015. Dr Jimenez is currently director, public sector evaluations in the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank.
3ie evaluation specialists participated in the Journées Béninoises de l’Evaluation in held in Cotonou, Benin, from 30 June to 2 July. There were 300 participants from Argentina, Mexico, Canada, France, South Africa, Uganda, Togo, Niger and Benin. Representatives from institutions like the West African Development Bank, the African Development Bank, GIZ, CLEAR, UNDP, UNICEF, etc. were also present.
The event received wide media coverage.
This paper by Annette N. Brown, Eric W. Djimeu and Drew B. Cameron reviews the literature on a set of self-tests that share some characteristics with HIV self-tests to determine whether there is any evidence of harm.
The International Rescue Committee requests feed back on 10 gap maps that they have constructed based on systematic reviews. These gap maps are visual representation of existing evidence on topics like agricultural interventions, access to quality education, cash transfers, social and economic empowerment of women.
Registration is open for the PEGNET conference, 'Employment strategies in the Developing World - How to create sufficient, productive and decent jobs', to be held 18-19 September in Lusaka, Zambia.
3ie is playing a leading role in the development and delivery of a London International Development Centre (LIDC) short course on Evaluating Development Programmes.
The course will run 10-14 November 2014 at LIDC. Course fee: 1500 GBP. Applications are being accepted online on a rolling basis.
Call for proposals for Comparative Political Studies special issue on transparency in social sciences
Proposals are invited for a special issue of Comparative Political Studies on research transparency in the social sciences. Proposals for original research papers using quantitative or qualitative approaches, and collecting quantitative or qualitative data are encouraged. The submission deadline is 15 September 2014.
The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada is offering a post-doctoral fellowship. Applicants must hold or will imminently receive a PhD in the area of I-O psychology, applied psychology, organisational behaviour, or a related field. Research will focus primarily though not exclusively on the following two funded research projects: synthetic validity and metaBUS.
ADB, PIDS and 3ie's Making Impact Evaluation Matter conference: call for presentations and pre-conference workshop proposals
The Asian Development Bank, Philippine Institute for Development Studies and 3ie are hosting a major international impact evaluation conference Making Impact Evaluation Matter from 1-5 September 2014 in Manila, Philippines. The call for proposals to present papers and conduct workshops at the conference is now open.
Making Impact Evaluation Matter will comprise pre-conference workshops for 2.5 days from 1-3 September 2014, and 2.5 days of the conference from 3-5 September. Major international figures in the field of impact evaluation are being invited to speak at the plenary sessions of the conference. There will be five to six streams of pre-conference workshops and up to eight streams of parallel sessions during the conference, allowing for over 150 presentations.
3ie regrets to announce that the planned thematic window on demining has been cancelled. We do not plan to launch a window on demining in the near future.
The Journal of Development Effectiveness, volume 6, issue 2, 2014 is out. In addition to other papers this issue features a study on the impact of microcredit on women's control over household decisions, a review of William Easterly's latest book The Tyranny of Experts.
Nature (30 April 2014) has cited the 3ie systematic review summary on farmer field schools in an article on agricultural innovations to increase yields and protect the planet.
A three-day evidence symposium on what works to improve labour productivity was organised by the International Labour Organization in partnership with J-PAL, Silatech and the Arab Urban Development Institute at the Georgetown University, Doha, 6-8 March 2014.The event brought together policymakers, development practitioners, academics and researchers to present and discuss the evidence base for what works in increasing the employment and productivity of youth. Discussants shared recent findings of impact evaluations from the Middle East and North Africa and other developing regions. Participants were also introduced to evidence from systematic and literature reviews which are important for evidence-based policies.
The Italian Development Economists Association (SITES/IDEAs) invites papers for the first annual conference in Florence, Italy on 11-12 September 2014. The papers should be around themes on population economics, rural development and food security, inequality, growth and poverty and impact evaluation. Deadline for submission: 30 June.
This paper by Thomas de Hoop, Luuk van Kempen, Rik Linssen & Anouka van Eerdewijk in the Feminist Economist looks at the relationship between participation in women's self-help groups, women's autonomy and subjective well-being in Odisha, India.
The findings suggest that while self-help group membership results in positive effects on women's autonomy, there is also evidence of negative effects on women's subjective well-being in villages with relatively conservative gender norms. Qualitative research suggests that this negative effect is associated with social sanctions after the transgression of gender norms.
The Global Institute for Development Evidence (GIDE) formerly, the Advisory Research Group International LLC (argI) headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA), is a non-profit international initiative for research-based evidence with services in Africa, Asia and USA.
GIDE helps to improve the effectiveness of policy-making and delivery by providing policymakers, development agencies and practitioners with access to authoritative independent policy research and expert advice. GIDE thereby increases development effectiveness and improves lives through production, use and dissemination of reliable evidence from best development impact studies for policy design.
Howard White's presentation on Evidence-based policies to reduce poverty at the Independent Evaluation Group, Washington, DC, was featured in Devex (21 April, 2014). The article talks about the importance of systematic reviews in measuring the effectiveness of development programmes.
3ie is part of the Global Open Knowledge Hub, an open-access digital data initiative to help increase online accessibility of development research coming from the global South and boost their decision-making influence.
An article in Sci Dev Net on the Global Open Knowledge Hub mention's 3ie's participation in this initiative.
A 3ie-funded impact evaluation of the Cheeranjivi Yojana, a health insurance programme in the state of Gujarat, India, undertaken by Duke University, was cited in an article titled Gujarat experiments with public health insurance in India Ink, New York Times, 3 April 2014.
Journal of Development Effectiveness, vol 6, issue 1 is out. The issue features a paper on Conditional, unconditional and everything in between: a systematic review of the effects of cash transfer programmes on schooling outcomes by Sarah Baird, Francisco H.G. Ferreira, Berk Özler & Michael Woolcock.
There's a section on book reviews as well. Howard White reviews three books -- Power: why some people have it – and others don’t, by Jeffrey Pfeffer, Hard facts, dangerous half-truths and total nonsense, by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton and The signal and the noise: the art and science of prediction, by Nate Silver.
Agricultural land tenure reforms have been less effective in Africa than Latin America or Asia, says Steven Lawry and Cyrus Samii in a Guardian op-ed. This is based on a systematic review, The impact of land property rights interventions on investment and agricultural productivity in developing countries. 3ie provided the quality assurance support for this review.
A three-day international workshop on Evaluating Forest Conservation Initiatives, held in Barcelona in December 2013. The workshop brought together about 40 researchers, practitioners and policymakers to discuss the complexities involved in evaluating forest conservation initiatives. Philip Davies, 3ie Deputy Director - Systematic Reviews was as the workshop. Davies has been cited in this blog by the Center for International Forestry Research.
The Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), together with the African Institute for Health and Development (AIHD), is offering a two-week course between 23 June and 4 July, aimed at providing participants with an in-depth understanding of the conceptual and practical issues involved in the development of social protection programmes in Africa. Participants will acquire tools required for the appropriate identification and successful design and implementation of these programmes.
Two papers from the Journal of Development Effectiveness are among the top 25 most read Development Studies papers of 2013 from among a variety of Routledge Development Studies journals. These include, An introduction to the use of randomised control trials to evaluate development interventions by Howard White and How to do a good systematic review of effects in international development: a tool kit by Hugh Waddington, Howard White, Birte Snilstveit, Jorge Garcia Hombrados, Martina Vojtkova, Philip Davies, Ami Bhavsar, John Eyers, Tracey Perez Koehlmoos, Mark Petticrew, Jeffrey C. Valentine, Peter Tugwell.
"To err is human, but to use the word 'error' in a replication study is usually not divine." Guest post on the Development Impact blog by Annette Brown, Deputy Director, Advancement and Impact Evaluation Services, 3ie, and Benjamin Wood, Evaluation Specialist for Replication, 3ie.
The special issue of The European Journal of Development Research features a paper by Howard White titled Current Challenges in Impact Evaluation.
Bill Saveoff of Center from Global Development applauds the achievements of 3ie under the leadership of Howard White. He also says it's time to revisit the original visions for 3ie – that all foreign aid and multilateral agencies should contribute 0.01% of their annual disbursements to 3ie in support of impact evaluation.
3ie-supported impact evaluation of a maternal health programme in Gujarat, India, shows that the much-touted Chiranjeevi Yojana, launched in 2006 to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the state, hasn’t had any significant impact on institutional delivery rates or maternal health outcomes.
Gap maps enable policymakers and practitioners to explore the findings and quality of the existing evidence and facilitate informed judgment and evidence-based decision making in international development policy and practice. This paper by 3ie researchers provides an introduction to evidence-gap maps, outlines the gap-map methodology, and presents some examples.
An article by Prof Michael Greenstone of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the New York Times cites a 3ie-supported study on reforming the environmental audit system in industrial units in Gujarat.
Howard White was interviewed on the Story of Aid in the Rear Vision programme on ABC Radio.
Howard White writes about the lessons 3ie has learned through the experience of conducting and managing impact evaluations in the past decade in the Impact magazine published by Population Services International.
An article in The Hindu newspaper (dated 31/10/2013) on the 3ie-ASCI conference on Measuring Results.
Howard White, 3ie Executive Director, was part of a discussion on evaluation of social sector programmes on Rajya Sabha TV with Ajay Chhibber, Director General, Independent Evaluation Office, Government of India; Thoriq Ali Luthfee, Minister of Health, Maldives and Biraj Patnaik, Principal Advisor, Right to Food in the office of Commissioners to Supreme Court. Anchor: Girish Nikam
Two 3ie-supported studies cited in the Economist. These include Girl power: cash transfers and adolescent welfare. Evidence from a cluster-randomized experiment in Malawi, by Sarah J. Baird, Ephraim Chirwa, Jacobus de Hoop, Berk Özler and Relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers for schooling outcomes in developing countries: a systematic review, by Sarah Baird, Francisco H. G. Ferreira, Berk Özler, Michael Woolcock.
Girl power: cash transfers and adolescent welfare. evidence from a cluster-randomized experiment in Malawi
This 3ie-supported study now has a paper in the NBER working paper series.
This study summarises evidence from short-term impacts of a cash transfer programme on the empowerment of adolescent girls in Malawi during and immediately after the two-year intervention.
Getting children into school is only part of the education battle. We must also ensure they learn once they are there. Blog by Howard White in the Guardian
The University of East Anglia is offering a one-year MSc course in Impact Evaluation in International Development.
The course has been designed for students who are interested in designing and implementing development projects and programmes and/or in researching development effectiveness, and who need to develop and enhance their skills for undertaking high-quality rigorous impact evaluations.
3ie is offering a scholarship for this course.
This 3ie-supported study now has a paper in the NBER Working Paper Series.
This study evaluates the impact of a programme that provides pre-fabricated housing to members of extremely poor population groups in Latin America. Findings show that a positive effect on general well-being of the people. There is also evidence of improvement in children's health in two countries.
The World Bank, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and 3ie are pleased to announce a research and grant-making programme, Evidence for Peace: Evaluating to Improve Results in Countries Impacted by Conflict, Fragility and Violence (E4P).
The goal of this joint initiative is to enhance the evidence base on development approaches to peace- and state-building challenges and to link this with the policy design and management process to achieve better outcomes.
The three institutions will partner on four areas of work -- Stocktaking and scoping to determine what we know, don't know and need to know, tailored evaluation tools and methologies that can be used for fragile and conflict-affected areas, E4P evaluation series which will implement a grants programme to implement 10-20 impact evaluations of peace- and state-building programmes. The final phase, promoting rigorous evaluation and brokering evidence, will include dissemination of findings to policymakers and practitioners.
Please contact Annette Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly Bidwell (email@example.com) if you would like to support this programme or learn more.
A 3ie study on the impact of daycare in Brazil shows that it has the potential to improve household welfare especially for the poor. Household income was went up (8%), as did the labour supply of the carer (usually the mother). Children also fared better in terms of cognitive and anthropometric outcomes.
This paper by Marie Gaarder and Jeannie Annan argues that it is both possible and important to carry out impact evaluations even in settings of violent conflict, and it presents some examples from a collection of impact evaluations of conflict prevention and peacebuilding interventions. This Policy Research Working Paper is published by the Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank.
The Campbell Collaboration training videos were recorded at the May 2013 Campbell Colloquium. The introductory videos are intended for researchers conducting systematic reviews as well as for policymakers interested in evidence-based policies. The advanced methods / applied topics videos are for researchers carrying out systematic reviews.
Do conditions moderate the effects of cash transfer programs? Preliminary findings from a systematic review
The preliminary findings from the systematic review indicates that both conditional cash transfer (CCT) and unconditional cash transfer (UCT) programmes improve school enrolment: 23% in the case of UCT programmes and 41% for CCT programmes.
An impact evaluation of the loans offered by Compartamos, the largest microlender in Mexico shows that loan recipients grew their business revenues and expenses, were happier, more trusting, had greater household decision power, and were better able to manage liquidity and risk. However, there was little evidence that loans had an impact on building wealth like household income, business profits, or consumption.
The study adds to the evidence that microcredit is generally beneficial, but not necessarily transformative.
The Research Department of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has published the Ex Post collection of the following papers: Insuring health or insuring wealth? An experimental evaluation of health insurance in rural Cambodia and Sky impact evaluation, Cambodia, 2010, village monographs
Ian Ramage and David Levine, co-authors of these studies will be speaking at the Health Financing in Developing Countries Conference (Financement de la santé dans les pays en développement) on 27 and 28 May at AFD.
This report gathers together examples which attempt to explain how and why change happens as a result of cash transfers (CTs). It first presents a selection of theories of change about how cash transfers are expected to work in general, drawn from academic literature, and then a selection of theories as used in a few specific cash transfer programmes.
Pocast of presentation by Jyotsna Puri at the 28th Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) meeting.
In a video interview, Phil Davies talks about the importance of timing for researchers wanting to engage and inform policymakers. He talks about 3ie GapMap as a visual and engaging tool for understanding what is known and what isn't.
In Part 2 of the video, he stresses the importance of physical access, encouraging efforts towards ensuring that policymakers are aware of, and can get hold of, the kinds of evidence that they need to make good decisions.
A DFID guidance note on the best ways to assess evidence in international development. It offers some rules on:
- understanding different types of empirical research evidence
- appreciating the principles of high quality evidence
- considering how the context of research findings affects the way that staff may use them
- understanding how to make sense of inconsistent or conflicting evidence
Findings from a 3ie-funded study on the impact of a conditional cash transfer programme in Nicaragua cited in this Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) blog.
Theme: What evidence-based development has to learn from evidence-based medicine
Speaker: Chris Whitty
Theme: What we have learned from 3ie's experience in evidence- based development
Speaker: Howard White
Howard White discusses different designs of randomized control trials and addresses criticisms of RCTs which are mostly argued to rest on misunderstandings of the approach.
The standard approach to policymaking and advice in economics implicitly or explicitly ignores politics and political economy, and maintains that if possible, any market failure should be rapidly removed. This NBER working paper by Daren Acemoglu and James A. Robinson argues why this conclusion may be incorrect.
This CGD Working Paper by Tessa Bold, Mwangi Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Alice Ng'ang'a, and Justin Sandefur looks at how a Kenyan education programme proven successful in a randomised controlled trial, failed to have similar outcomes when implemented.
See blog by Justin Sandefur Finding what works in development: what is the what?)
Esther Duflo discusses a 3ie-supported study on Gujarat pollution control in an interview to Yale Insights.
Markus Goldstein highlights the findings from two 3ie-supported studies -- a systematic review on the impact of daycare programmes and the impact evaluation of Save the Children's early childhood development programme in Mozambique.
"The purpose of this document is to advance the Foundation’s existing work so that our evaluation practices become more consistent across the organization.We hope to create more common understanding of our philosophy, purpose,
and expectations regarding evaluation as well as clarify staff roles and available support."
Howard White, 3ie Executive Director, discusses “closing the evidence gap”, randomised control trials, and the value of impact evaluation with Dereck Rooken-Smith of ODE, AusAID.
Louise Shaxson, Research Fellow, ODI on how "Pressure to demonstrate concrete impacts on public policy is encouraging researchers to make grand claims about what we/they are likely to achieve."
Rosalind Eyben, Research Fellow at IDS and Chris Roche, Associate Professor, La Trobe University kick off a discussion on the implications of evidence-based approaches.
Nina Cromeyer Dieke shares tips and lessons development community can learn from mainstream media. The 3ie policy impact toolkit finds a mention in the story.
Berk Ozler on the pros and cons of using surveys to measure impact.
"...So, evaluating a large government program using an unrelated routine government survey may be fine (although I suspect that they too will have biases depending on what the respondents think the survey is for, how large, important, and ‘in the news’ the intervention is, etc.), but evaluating your own experiment that aims to change some behavior by asking study participants whether they have changed that behavior is unacceptable."
How can systematic reviews contribute evidence for policy? Blogs on this page take up the debate on conducting and using systematic reviews.
Tracey Koehlmoos, adjunct professor at George Mason University, Washington DC, and adjunct scientist at ICDDR,B blogs on sessions at the Dhaka Colloquium on Systematic Reviews.
"...Perhaps the most controversial session that I have attended so far was provocatively named “Rapid reviews: opportunity or oxymoron?” 3ie deputy director, Phil Davies presented on “rapid evidence assessment” and their place in the pantheon of evidence synthesis efforts aimed at informing policy making. Serious questions remain about rapid reviews being biased compared to systematic reviews—and how the process would even allow the developers of these reviews to recognize any biases. However, Davies pointed out that “all evidence is probabilistic.” ..."
"This discussion paper aims to support appropriate and effective use of impact evaluations in AusAID by providing AusAID staff with information on impact evaluation. It provides staff who commission impact evaluations with a definition, guidance and minimum standards."
3ie recently participated at an IFAD learning event on impact evaluations for environmental and climate change interventions.
William Savedoff blogs on the challenge that impact evaluation poses for organisations. "...Other times, the concerns reflect an unwillingness to clearly state their goals, be explicit about their theories of change, or put their beliefs about what works to an objective test. Yet, this is exactly what is at stake with evaluation: are you willing to be proven wrong?"
"Potential biases can arise when collecting qualitative data, in deciding which questions are asked, in what order, how they are asked and how the replies of the respondents are recorded.
"There can also be biases in how the responses are interpreted and analyzed, and finally which results are chosen for presentation. Of course quantitative data and analysis is also prone to bias, such as sampling bias and selection bias. But methodologies have been developed to explicitly deal with these biases. Indeed evaluation designs are judged on precisely how well they deal with these biases."