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October 2013   Making Evidence Work
Request for Qualifications

We are requesting qualifications for an impact evaluation of the contribution of the removal of user fees on universal health coverage in eastern, central and southern Africa region implemented by the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC). The evaluation will examine the extent to which the ECSA-HC policy on the removal of user fees has contributed to universal health coverage in two to three countries in that region. We are accepting applications until 23:59 GMT, 30 October 2013.
Read more   Download RFQ




We are funding three bursaries for a short impact evaluation design course offered by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The course will be held at IDS, Brighton, UK, between 31 March and 4 April 2014. To be eligible for a bursary, applicants must be nationals of low-income countries and apply directly to IDS by 8 November 2013.

Grant updates

Agricultural Innovation Thematic Window: We have awarded ten proposal preparation grants for the evaluation of interventions implemented by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The awardees have been invited to matchmaking workshops in November 2013.

Policy Window 2: We have awarded an impact evaluation of the Early Grade Reading programme of the Department of Basic Education, Government of South Africa.

Successful policy engagement

Does high-quality low cost housing impact socioeconomic and health outcomes of the poor in urban slums? Evidence from an impact evaluation of a Un Techo Para Mi País programme in Latin America shows that improved housing alone is not enough to improve living conditions in urban slums. Additional programmes addressing employment, health and community issues are needed. Following the recommendations from the study, Un Techo Para Mi País has begun designing and implementing vocational training, microfinance programmes, and health campaigns to impact other areas beyond housing. Read more on the study

Does an agricultural voucher scheme enhance productivity, reduce poverty and improve food security on a large-scale and across a variety of agro-ecological zones? An on-going impact evaluation of Tanzania's National Agricultural Input Voucher Scheme (NAIVS) programme, the main component of the World Bank's Accelerated Food Security Project has had wide policy implications. Results of the survey undertaken in this study are being used to make decisions about the next iteration of Tanzania's NAIVS programme. The research team also contributed to preparing the NAIVS Public Expenditure Report and provided insights on targeting and cost-effectiveness of the programme. Read more on the study

A randomized impact evaluation of the World Food Programme's cash and food transfer projects in Ecuador, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Yemen: This on-going study compares the impacts of transfer modalities (cash, food rations or food vouchers) on dietary patterns, human capital, domestic violence and marriage in the three countries. The study has preliminary results for the effect of cash, vouchers and food transfers on intimate partner violence in Ecuador. Found to be the most cost effective, the voucher model has been included in the project, 'Assistance to Refugees and Persons affected by the conflict in Colombia', promoting integration between the Colombian and Ecuadorian populations. The voucher mechanism will also be used in a new project, 'Supporting local government's capacities to improve food and nutrition security in Ecuador'. Read more on the study

New 3ie working paper
Quality education for all children? What works in education in developing countries: This review is a systematic investigation into schooling outcomes and analyses evidence from 75 studies across a range of school interventions. It shows that government and donor-driven education interventions are not only getting more children into school and keeping them there but are also helping children to learn more.

The working paper provides compelling evidence of the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers on school enrolment and attendance. Health interventions had a positive effect on attendance, while provisions of new materials, such as computer-aided learning tools, and better school buildings significantly improved mathematics, reading and writing test scores. The policy brief draws out recommendations and provides direction for programme design and implementation. Download report   Download policy brief
Recent publications
In this issue, we are launching a new section on recent publications from 3ie-supported studies. We will feature selected studies in each issue. In coming months we will also make a full listing available on the 3ie website.

Do you get what you pay for with school-based health programs? Evidence from a child nutrition experiment in rural China, Sean Sylvia, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Yaojiang Shi, Alexis Medina, and Scott Rozelle, Economics of Education Review, December 2013, vol: 37, pp 1-12.

Girl power: cash transfers and adolescent welfare. Evidence from a cluster-randomized experiment in Malawi, Sarah J. Baird, Ephraim Chirwa, Jacobus de Hoop, and Berk Özler, NBER Working Paper No. 19479, September 2013.

Shelter from the storm: upgrading housing infrastructure in Latin American slums, Sebastian Galiani, Paul Gertler, Ryan Cooper, Sebastian Martinez, Adam Ross, and Raimundo Undurraga, NBER Working Paper No. 19322, August 2013.

Violence Against Women and HIV Risk Behaviors in Kampala, Uganda:Baseline Findings from the SASA! Study, Leilani Francisco, Tanya Abramsky, Ligia Kiss, Lori Michau, Tina Musuya, Deanna Kerrigan, Dan Kaye, and Charlotte Watts, Violence Against Women, July 2013, vol:19, pp 814-832.
Other recommended reading
We are often asked to recommend guides to impact evaluation. Top on our list is Paul Gertler's and colleagues' Impact Evaluation in Practice, which is written in an accessible, mostly non-technical style. Also from the World Bank is the Impact Evaluation Toolkit. Martin Ravallion's Mystery of the vanishing benefits provides a more technical and shorter introduction. Finally, Howard White's An introduction to the use of randomised control trials to evaluate development interventions discusses different RCT designs. And a fuller length technical treatment is in Shahidur R. Khandker and colleagues' Handbook on Impact Evaluation.

Howard White's recently published paper titled The use of mixed methods in randomized control trials in Mixed Methods and Credibility of Evidence in Evaluation: New Directions for Evaluation, explores methodological debates in impact evaluation.

We also recommend these blogs, How people argue with research they don't like by Dylan Matthews and Educating the world: how to get pupils in developing countries to learn by Howard White.

Open access resources for researchers: Financial and technological barriers have limited the access to high-quality and up-to-date research in low- and middle-income countries. The International Development Coordinating Group has put together a list of key initiatives that provide free or low- cost access to journal articles. It includes international initiatives like Research4life that cover multiple publishers, as well as open access initiatives run by individual publishers.
New Registry for International Development Impact Evaluation (RIDIE)
We have recently launched RIDIE, a prospective registry of impact evaluations related to development in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of the registry is to enhance the transparency and quality of evaluation research as well as to provide a repository of impact evaluation studies for researchers, funders, and others. RIDIE will register development impact evaluations that rigorously attempt to estimate the causal impacts of a programme, including but not limited, to randomised control trials.

We encourage registrations on RIDIE. The first hundred completed registrations will be automatically entered in a lottery to win one of five Microsoft Surface RT or Apple iPad2 tablet computers.
Upcoming events
Measuring Results: International and South Asian Experiences in Impact Evaluations, New Delhi, 23 October 2013: We in association with the Administrative Staff College of India(ASCI), are hosting a conference to bring together policymakers, donors and evaluation experts to discuss experiences and share perspectives on the value of using impact evaluation to strengthen evidence-based policymaking in within India and internationally.

3ie Delhi seminar, 24 October 2013, Systematic reviews: what have we learned so far? An overview of the evidence, Speaker: Howard White, Executive Director, 3ie.

3ie-IFPRI seminar, Washington, DC, 10 October 2013: How price sensitive is primary and secondary school enrollment? Evidence from nationwide tuition fee reforms in South Africa, Speaker: Robert Garlick, World Bank Development Research Group.

3ie-IFPRI seminar, Washington, DC, 17 November 2013: Should foreign aid fund agricultural training? Evidence from Armenia, Speaker: Ken Forston, Mathematica.

3ie-LIDC seminar, London, 17 October 2013: Relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers for schooling outcomes in developing countries: A systematic review, Speaker: Berk Özler, University of Otago.
New 3ie blog posts
Shining a light on the unknown knowns: 3ie launches a new registry for prospective registration of impact evaluations Reporting and publication biases are major concerns in development-related impact evaluations. Annette N. Brown and Drew Cameron argue that registration of on-going impact evaluations can enhance the transparency and quality of research.

How will they ever learn? What works to improve education in developing countries Demand-side approaches to get children into school need to be complemented by supply-side ones to improve learning, says Howard White.

Can we learn more from clinical trials than simply methods Development economists may have readily adopted research methods used in clinical trials but they have overlooked several rigorous approaches that are integral to these trials. Impact evaluations of development interventions need to establish clinical equipoise when there is a lot of existing research, says Eric Djimeu.
3ie jobs
Evaluation Officer, Systematic Reviews, London: The Evaluation Officer will assist with the preparation and execution of systematic reviews and undertake reviews of systematic reviews submitted to 3ie. Apply by 10 October 2013.

Senior Evaluation Specialist - Governance, Politics, and Peacebuilding, Washington, DC: The Senior Evaluation Specialist will be supporting new programmes for producing impact evaluation evidence. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Senior Evaluation Specialist - HIV/AIDS, Washington, DC: The specialist will help manage 3ie's HIV/AIDS activities, communicate and negotiates directly with funders and represents 3ie to high-level policymakers in national and international HIV/AIDS agencies. This is a high priority position and suitable candidates are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience.

Senior Evaluation Specialist, New Delhi: The specialist lead on the management and implementation of 3ie's grant windows and provide technical support to 3ie-funded research, among several other tasks.

Impact Evaluation Specialist, New Delhi: The specialist will provide high-level technical oversight, management and support for multiple impact evaluations.
Other announcements
Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund, World Bank, call for impact evaluations. Apply by 1 November 2013

African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) and Network of Networks of Impact Evaluation (NONIE) call for abstracts for the 7th AfrEA International Conference to be held in Cameroon, 3-7 March 2014. The deadline is 1 November 2013

MSc course, Impact Evaluation for International Development, University of East Anglia

American Evaluation Association annual conference, Washington, DC, 14-20 October 2013

Job opening: Manager, Evaluation and Learning, MasterCard Foundation, Toronto

Job opening: Vice President, Impact Evaluation Services, Social Impact, Virginia
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The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) funds impact evaluations and systematic reviews that generate high quality evidence on what works in development and why. Evidence on development effectiveness can help improve policy and improve the lives of the poor.