In 2006, the Evaluation Gap Working Group asked, “When will we ever learn?” This week, 3ie’s Drew Cameron, Anjini Mishra, and Annette Brown (hereafter CMB) have published a paper in the Journal of Development Effectiveness that uses data on more than thirty years of published impact evaluations from 3ie’s Impact Evaluation Repository (IER) to answer the question.
This week we proudly launch the Impact Evaluation Repository, a comprehensive index of around 2,400 impact evaluations in international development that have met our explicit inclusion criteria. In creating these criteria we set out to establish an objective, binary (yes or no) measure of whether a study is an impact evaluation, as defined by 3ie, or not.
Donald Rumsfeld, a former US Secretary of Defense, famously noted the distinction between known knowns(things we know we know), known unknowns (things we know we don’t know), and unknown unknowns (things we don’t know we don’t know). In international development research, these same distinctions exist.