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The tricky business of measuring latrine use: lessons from 3ie’s evidence programme

There has been a fair bit of hoopla around India being declared open defecation free last month.  In the media debates, the measurement of India’s open defecation-free status has come under a good deal of scrutiny. Leaving aside the politics of the debate, there remains an important question: how can latrine use be measured rigorously?

Is it possible to combine capacity development with a rapid synthesis response to an evidence request?

Two of the most important and long standing challenges for evidence synthesis in international development are: 1) The need to provide timely (eg. rapid) responses to demands for evidence to inform decisions; 2) Developing capacity to do high-quality, policy-relevant syntheses, especially in L&MICs. At present these challenges are typically addressed in isolation.

How can a rethink of lessons from field experiments inform future research in transparency, participation and accountability?

The conference also made us consider the value of using our 3ie blog to extend the audience for the topic and start a conversation around a selected presentation or remarks. We have invited one of the panellists from the ‘Reality Check’ session, Jonathan Fox, to share a version of his remarks as a blog.

Be careful what you wish for: cautionary tales on using single studies to inform policymaking

For a development evaluator, the holy grail is to have evidence from one’s study be taken up and used in policy or programming decisions that improve people’s lives. It’s not easy. Decisions are based on many factors. The availability of evidence is just one of them. And of course, even when evidence is taken up, it does not mean that it will lead to the right decision.

A shot in the arm: why engaging with a range of stakeholders matters

When 3ie set up the Innovations in Increasing Immunisation Evidence Programme, we realised early on that we had to walk the talk. The evidence programme funded formative and impact evaluations of community-based approaches for boosting coverage in countries with low or stagnating immunisation rates. But community members and local decision makers had not been figuring prominently in our approach to how our grantees engage with stakeholders.

Putting government in the driver’s seat to generate and use impact evaluations in the Philippines

Impact evaluations are sometimes criticised for being supply-driven. It is hard to know for sure. There is no counterfactual to what would have happened without the impact evaluation.   

About

Evidence Matters is 3ie’s blog. It primarily features contributions from staff and board members. Guest blogs are by invitation.

3ie publishes blogs in the form received from the authors. Any errors or omissions are the sole responsibility of the authors. Views expressed are their own and do not represent the opinions of 3ie, its board of commissioners or supporters.

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