Kirthi Rao

Kirthi Rao
Designation: Evidence Impact Specialist
Kirthi is an Evidence impact specialist working on evidence use and impact at 3ie’s Strategic Communication Office. Her work involves tracking and verifying the contributions of 3ie-supported research.

Blogs by author

Evidence impact: Research showed unconditional cash transfers work. Now they're everywhere

Across the world, governments used cash transfers, including unconditional transfers, to shield vulnerable people from the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of December 2020, cash transfer schemes made up more than a third of the estimated 1400 social protection responses to the pandemic across 215 countries and territories.

Evidence impact: Putting the brakes on a childhood nutrition program with unintended consequences

Even bad news can be useful. In this case, as part of an upgrade of Colombia's childcare centres, a foundation called Fundación Éxito had planned to fund a new nutrition program for children. But it reversed course after an impact evaluation showed that the new nutrition component seemed to do more harm than good. Children's nutrition did not improve and some gained an excessive amount of weight.

Evidence impact: informing better monitoring and measurement of interventions

How helpful can an evaluation be if it shows an intervention had no effects on desired outcomes? The first evaluation of a community-driven reconstruction (CDR) program called Tuungane, implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is one such study. The evaluation did not show positive effects on all desired social and behavioural outcomes, but it did help the implementer, International Rescue Committee (IRC), revamp some of its systems.

What do we know about the impacts of aquaculture?

Our systematic review finds that aquaculture interventions improve productivity and income for fish farmers in most contexts. However, we need more and more rigorous measurement of impact, particularly on nutrition and women’s empowerment outcomes. While many aquaculture programmes target low- and middle-income countries, there is an overall lack of rigorous impact studies. The studies that could be included also had an overall high risk of bias and do not usually allow for subgroups analysis.

Evidence impact: Increasing immunization rates by engaging community leaders

In Nigeria, as in much of the developing world, many children never receive their full set of recommended immunizations. Even among children who receive some vaccinations, not all return for subsequent doses or later shots. In 2019, only 57 percent of infants in Nigeria completed their three-shot course of the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine.