3ie Washington Evidence Week 2017

Evidence for whom: Do decision makers have the evidence they need to address inequalities?

3ie hosted a series of internal and external events as part of Washington Evidence Week 2017. Events included the bi-annual board meeting and ninth annual members’ conference. Representatives from 31 member organisations shared information about their evaluation successes and challenges.  

Start Date: 27 April 2017 End Date: 27 April 2017

Session 1: Whose impact? Inequality, gender and disadvantaged groups in impact evaluation

Inequality, gender and disadvantaged groups in impact evaluation
Participants in this talk show style discussion debated why multiple dimensions of inequality and social exclusion are being neglected in impact evaluations. Marginalised populations can be difficult to reach. They are affected in different ways by programmes and policies. The popularity of RCTs and the estimation of population-level impacts has diverted the attention from assessing the impact of interventions on specific groups. At best, gendered inequality and sex-disaggregated sub-group analyses are complements to the main analysis, if at all. The session also discussed the conceptual and methodological challenges in conducting impact evaluations that are gender and equity responsive. Speakers presented examples of ways to conduct impact evaluations that are equity-sensitive.

Panellist: Edoardo Masset deputy director, 3ie Synthesis and Reviews Office (Chair); Agnes Quisumbing, senior fellow, International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI); Markus Goldstein, lead economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Africa, The World Bank; Roxanne Kristalli,program manager, Humanitarian Evidence Program at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University


Session 2: HIV evidence for whom? What it means for 90-90-90

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HIV evidence for whom? What it means for 90-90-90

Much progress has been made toward the UNAIDS goal of 90 percent of people living with HIV knowing their status, 90 percent of those on treatment and 90 percent of those achieving viral suppression. Yet, global and national coverage statistics mask important variations among sub-populations. We need rigorous evidence on these populations and on which policies and interventions are most effective in reaching them. This panel analysed what we know, and what we need to know, about reaching under-served populations, including men, key populations at higher risk of acquiring HIV, and adolescents, especially girls, to achieve 90-90-90 for all.

Panellists: Anna Heard, senior evaluation specialist, 3ie (Chair); Marelize Gorgens, senior monitoring and evaluation specialist, HNP Global Practice, World Bank, Paul Bouey, senior advisor, Save the Children; Sanyukta Mathur, associate II and DREAMS Implementation Science Project director, Population Council; Stella Babalola, associate professor (Health, Behavior and Society), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Session 3: Evidence for populations that need it most: impact evaluation in humanitarian crises and conflict-affected countries

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Evidence for populations that need it most: impact evaluation in humanitarian crises

Rigorous evaluation in conflict and post-conflict settings is very difficult. Collecting data about vulnerable sub-populations and the hardest to reach in conflict-affected countries is a particular challenge, with potential implications for the success of development policies and programs. This panel built on recent findings from 3ie scoping research to address questions about the supply of rigorous evidence in these contexts. Discussion focused on the extent to which current impact evaluations are capturing inequitable outcomes and producing evidence that helps reduce vulnerabilities and violence. Discussions also focused on how we can improve the supply of evidence that will improve programmes and policies more equitably.

Pannelists: Mario Picon, senior evaluation specialist, 3ie (Chair); Kathryn Falb, technical advisor, Research, Evaluation and Learning, International Rescue Committee; Ruben Grangaard, program officer - Planning, Learning, and Evaluation, United States Institute of Peace; Rakesh Nangia, director, Operations Evaluation Department, African Development Bank.

Session 4: Promoting evidence use for all

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Do decision makers have the evidence they need to address inequalities?

The development sector is increasingly embracing the value of evidence-informed decision making. The focus now is on how to promote evidence use effectively within institutions and with key stakeholders. The barriers to and facilitators of evidence use, however, vary according to their contexts. This panel discussion among commissioners and users of evidence working with government or civil society described the challenges they face in using evidence for decision making. Key questions including how to address the challenge of using evidence when there are several competing demands and incentives and the demand for equity-focused and gender-responsive evidence were discussed in this session.

Pannelists: Beryl Leach, deputy director and head, policy, advocacy and communication office, 3ie (Chair) Gonzalo Hernandez Licona, executive secretary, CONEVAL (National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy), Mexico, Norma Altshuler, program officer, Global Development and Population, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Silvia Diazgranados Ferrans, Research advisor, Education Programs, International Rescue Committee, and Tsakani Ngomane, outcomes facilitator, rural development, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, The Presidency, South Africa

Closing remarks, Richard Manning, Chair, 3ie Board of Commissioners

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Richard Manning, chair, 3ie Board of Commissioners at the 3ie Washington Evidence Week 2017


Richard Manning completes his term as chair of the 3ie Board of Commissioners
Richard Manning spoke extensively on the need for rigorous evaluation, and how we could work better to generate and deliver useful evidence for policymakers. He emphasised the need for high-quality studies, stating that methodologically poor work was unlikely to be useful. He also stressed the importance of country ownership and collaboration in conducting evaluations, more work with international communities of practice and argued for ‘better designed feedback loops’. Read the transcripts of his closing remarks here.