3ie’s Replication Programme was established as a global public good to help improve the quality and reliability of impact evaluation evidence used for policymaking.
The programme is designed to highlight the benefits of internal replication of impact evaluations of development studies to the sector and to incentivise the conduct of replication studies of influential, innovative, and controversial impact evaluations of development interventions.
What is replication?
Replication is the most established method of research validation in science. The replications funded by 3ie are internal replications— those that use data from the original study, and possibly existing secondary datasets from the same location, in order to check the validity and robustness of the estimations and recommendations.
This selected bibliography attests to the fact that there are a growing number of replications in economics. For a multidisciplinary list of previous research on the practice of replication, see our replication methodologies bibliography. A comprehensive database of pure replication studies can also be found on the University of Göttingen's replication wiki website.
For a list of frequently asked questions about the 3ie Impact Evaluation Replication Programme, download the FAQ document (234.2 KB)
Benefits of replication
Where the replications confirm that the impact evaluation findings are valid and robust, the Replication Programme lends additional credibility to these findings for use in policymaking. For impact evaluations revealed to have invalid or non-robust findings, the Replication Programme cautions policy makers in the use of the findings. The more general benefit of the programme, though, is improving the incentives for all impact evaluators to conduct careful analysis leading to credible findings in the first place
- Replication Window: 3ie’s Replication Windows provide funding for researchers to conduct internal replications of impact evaluations of development interventions.
- In-house replication: 3ie’s qualified staff also conduct replication studies and develop guidance on replication methodology.
- Data Preparation and Release Window: 3ie provides funding to original authors of studies on the Candidate Studies List for preparing their raw datasets and accompanying code books for public use and online release.
- Replication Paper Series: This is a publication and dissemination outlet for replication studies of development impact evaluations. The replication paper series publishes studies funded through the Replication Window as well as external submissions.
3ie is committed to encouraging open and healthy dialogue between replication researchers and original authors. To support this goal, we have created the 3ie Replication Programme notification and communication policy.
We would like to thank everyone who helped strengthen this policy through their comments and suggestions.
For more information, read the Brown, AN, Cameron, DB, and Wood, BDK, 2014. Quality evidence for policymaking: I’ll believe it when I see the replication, 3ie Replication Paper 1