3ie London Evidence Week 2017

Evidence that matters for vulnerable and marginalised people in international development

3ie London Evidence Week 2017 is a series of public events focused on the importance of using evidence to inform how we address some of the biggest challenges we are facing in development.

Start Date: 06 November 2017 End Date: 10 November 2017
London evidence week 2017

List of events

Mapping the evidence base on social, behavioural and community engagement interventions for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health

Speakers: Anayda Gerarda Portela and Rachael Hinton
Chair: Tanya Marchant, Deputy Director, MARCH Centre

The World Health Organisation, 3ie and the PMNCH launched an evidence gap map of key social, behavioural and community engagement related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) at the 3ie-LIDC seminar. The event included presentations summarising the findings of the EGM and demonstrated how decision makers and researchers can use the EGM to explore the available evidence base. We also launched a new brief on SBCE interventions that includes findings from RMNCH map and 3ie’s gap map on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health.

Explore the evidence gap maps on 3ie’s interactive platform
ASRH evidence gap map 
RMNCH evidence gap map

To explore the EGMs by health area:
Reproductive health evidence gap map
Maternal health evidence gap map
Newborn health evidence gap map
Child health evidence gap map

Key publications

Adolescent sexual and reproductive health: an evidence gap map

Mapping the evidence on social, behavioural and community engagement for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Highlights from 3ie London Evidence Week one-day conference

Rigged or rigorous? Researcher-practitioner partnerships to evaluate the impact of complex social interventions
Speaker: Charlotte Watts, chief scientific adviser, DFID

Professor Charlotte Watts talked about the growing demand for robust evidence on how to address complex social phenomena, such as violence against women and girls (VAWG). Principles of rigorous evaluation stress the critical need for independence between evaluators and implementers. Her presentation provided insights on what constitutes robust evidences and posed pertinent questions to address if the recommended separation between evaluators and implementers limit the potential to learn and translate evaluation findings into meaningful impacts. The presentation discussed various issues, drawing upon recent discussions of approaches to evaluation, and her research to measure and evaluate the impact of partner violence prevention programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa citing the 3ie-funded SASA study.


Panellists: Kerry Albright, chief, Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management, Office of Research-Innocenti, UNICEF; Nathanael Bevan, team leader, Evidence to Action, DFID; Mairi MacRae, senior technical advisor for research and advocacy, International Rescue Committee UK; and Vidya Rangan, manager, Impacts Programme, ISEAL Alliance
Facilitator: Beryl Leach, director and head, policy, advocacy and communication, 3ie

The development sector is increasingly embracing the value of evidence-informed decision-making. There is increasing recognition that promoting evidence use also depends on improving the quantity, quality, availability, relevancy and timeliness of evidence. While a lot of attention has been paid to promoting impact evaluations in the last several years, less attention has been paid, until recently, to producing and using synthesised evidence. Panellists in this session talked about the importance of synthesised evidence, the barriers to use and the measures being taken to promote the use of synthesised evidence.

Speakers: Howard White, CEO, Campbell Collaboration; Radhika Menon, senior policy and advocacy officer, 3ie; and Wale Osofisan, senior technical advisor – Governance, International Rescue Committee UK

In a series of presentations, authors of a forthcoming report on the effectiveness and impact of community driven interventions, discussed some key findings from their work. The session was chaired by Wale Osofisan, senior technical advisor – Governance, International Rescue Committee UK.


The session highlighted various challenges in evaluating WASH and agriculture programmes.

Annemie Maertens, senior lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Sussex, UK Presented on the effect of demonstration plots and the warehouse receipt system on integrated soil fertility management adoption, yield and income of smallholder farmers based on an ongoing 3ie-funded study on Malawi’s anchor farms.

Download the presentation

Sriharini Narayanan, senior specialist, Knowledge Management and Governance, IIHS, India

In this presentation, Sriharini focused on incorporating the life cycle approach into WASH policies and programmes, emphasising that there was an urgent need to sensitise policymakers on this. She also talked about the need to mainstream lifecycle approach and segment the target beneficiaries by age and gender for better evaluation.

Daniel Philips, research director, NatCen Social Research, UK

Daniel presented findings from a a systematic review on agricultural input subsidies for improving productivity, farm income, consumer welfare and wider growth in low- and lower-middle-income countries.


James Hargreaves, director, Centre for Evaluation, LSHTM (Gaps in evaluation methods for addressing challenging contexts in development); and Sandy Oliver, deputy director, EPPI-Centre ( Approaches to evidence synthesis in international development); and Howard White, CEO, Campbell Collaboration (Gaps in impact evaluation and evidence synthesis: the role of CEDIL). 
Facilitator: Edoardo Masset, deputy director, CEDIL

This session included a series of presentations to showcase the work undertaken by CEDIL. Howard White focused on highlighting the gaps in impact evaluation and evidence synthesis, and how evidence gap maps could be used to inform strategy and programme development. CEDIL is now working actively to produce evidence gap maps, the methodology for which was pioneered by 3ie. He emphasised that these maps were an effective tool for funders to identify evidence gaps and fund new studies for researchers to bridge the gap

Sandy Oliver discussed the various approaches to evidence synthesis in international development. She talked about CEDIL’s efforts to propose new approaches to support evidence generation by producing more reviews, adopting innovations from elsewhere and addressing the interests of relevant audiences by asking better questions. 

James Hargreaves, talked about CEDIL’s efforts to address four methodological gaps CEDIL in practice, methods, synthesis and translation.


Impact evaluation: the moral core and implications for ethical practice

Ruth Levine's closing remarks built upon her work on the moral case for evidence in policymaking. In her speech, she called on evidence enthusiasts to ensure that their work should reflect a larger moral aspiration toward truth, distributive justice and human progress. Pointing out that research should not be extractive, instead should be built on community, she emphasised that the history of impact evaluations will be better if well-being was valued more than methodological differences.