Message from our executive director

3ie’s executive director Marie Gaarder takes stock of the last few months as head of 3ie. She reflects on some of the challenges, opportunities and measures that 3ie is taking to respond to the complexities facing us all today.

Text message reminders help people make healthy choices

The research on the topic has included a wide range of healthy behaviors: getting immunizations, attending medical appointments, taking medications for chronic illnesses like AIDS, quitting smoking, exercising, practicing safe sex, and drinking less alcohol.

In the right circumstances, market support interventions may yield big dividends for food security

This post looks at interventions that work differently, intervening in the market systems behind the food supply. The evidence on their effectiveness is exploratory and preliminary, which is why we are working on an evidence gap map to show what evidence exists and where more studies are needed.

In humanitarian emergencies, cash-based social assistance is cheaper than food distribution, and it works just as well

Cash-based approaches to social protection programs are getting a lot of attention during the COVID crisis. By one count, cash transfers are the most common type of government assistance response to the pandemic.

How do food system interventions affect food security and nutrition? We're mapping the evidence

Malnutrition is a global issue which disproportionately affects low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). To make sure nutrition programmes that promote affordable, accessible, diverse and balanced diets for healthy growth and development are planned based on the best available evidence, we're creating an evidence gap map (EGM).

Using social media for community health outreach during the crisis: What evidence is available?

At 3ie, we advocate for the use of the most rigorous evidence possible – but when circumstances are unprecedented, such evidence can be hard to find. In recent blog posts, we've looked at high-quality research on issues that are on many minds now relating to hand washing and vaccination campaigns.

It’s time to take note of the Self Help Groups’ potential

As the world is scrambling for resources to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, India is fortunate to have a motivated cadre of women assisting the fight at the community-level. Rightfully called the ‘silent soldiers’, the 690 lakh or so women members of around 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country formed under the Indian government’s flagship Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) have come to the forefront.

Building roads where few exist can pay big dividends by raising people's incomes

Roads are one of the most basic forms of infrastructure. More than half of all official development assistance for economic infrastructure between 2005 and 2013 – at least $60 billion worldwide – went to road projects. Is all that investment worthwhile?

Scaling up development interventions requires planning from the beginning, 3ie's expert panel says

Even if development projects are highly effective at a small scale, many are abandoned before they can have the type of large-scale impacts needed to alleviate poverty. To learn more about how projects can grow past the pilot phase, nearly 300 people joined 3ie’s expert panel on scaling up interventions, the last of its Virtual Evidence Weeks events.

Cost analyses should be required by donors and get more respect from researchers, 3ie’s expert panel says

There is plenty of interest from policymakers in having cost analyses accompany impact evaluations, as we learned in last week’s Virtual Evidence Weeks panel. Our expert panelists agreed that overcoming these barriers will require pressure from funding organizations.