Evidence gap maps

3ie has developed an interactive online platform that allows users to explore the evidence in a particular evidence gap map (EGM), with links to user-friendly summaries and full-text articles where available.

Latest evidence gap maps
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What are evidence gap maps?

Our EGMs are thematic collections of information about impact evaluations and systematic reviews that measure the effects of international development policies and programmes. They present a visual overview of existing and ongoing studies or reviews in a sector or sub-sector in terms of the types of programmes evaluated and the outcomes measured. This evidence is mapped onto this framework, graphically highlighting the gaps, where few or no impact evaluations or systematic reviews exist and where there is a concentration of impact evaluations but no recent high-quality systematic review.

How we create our maps

EGM methods draw on the principles and methodologies developed for systematic and transparent evidence review. We consult relevant decision makers and stakeholders, often in the form of an advisory group, to decide on the thematic or sector focus. These consultations are held at the start of the mapping to discuss the scope, questions and framework and to review draft findings at the end of the mapping.;

We then conduct a systematic search to identify relevant published and unpublished impact evaluations and systematic reviews, and include both completed and ongoing studies and reviews. We describe characteristics of the evidence base and populate the map framework with studies and their respective links to summaries and, when available, full-text reports. In the case of systematic reviews, we also include a confidence rating of how the review was conducted to help decision makers gauge how much to rely on that evidence.

For a conceptual introduction to 3ie EGMs, please read Evidence gap maps: a starting point for strategic evidence production and use, 3ie Working Paper 28. For a more detailed discussion on evidence gap maps and methods, read the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology paper authored by 3ie's systematic review experts.

To commission a map or collaborate to create a map, visit our Evidence mapping page.

How to use them

EGMs are a useful tool for development decision makers looking to see what evidence exists to inform policies and programmes. For funders and researchers, these maps show where more investments are needed or where they can avoid duplicating existing research.

Each EGM adopts a framework designed to systematically capture different interventions and outcomes associated with an intervention. EGMs do not provide recommendations for policy and programming or guidelines for practice. They provide links to resources that can inform policy or programme development.

Check out our video on how to use an evidence gap map

Download How to read the evidence gap maps.

Use our platform to build your own map

Our interactive online map platform is now available to qualified users. They will be able to showcase their own maps using the same features as 3ie online maps. Read more

Latest gap maps

Group-based Livelihood Interventions in LMICs

Group-based Livelihood Interventions in L&MICs

Evidence gap map

This evidence gap map report describes existing and missing evidence on the effects of livelihoods interventions provided through groups in rural India.

View report

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Water, sanitation and hygiene evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This newly updated map facilitates access to high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion for households, communities, school and health facilities in L&MICs. It includes published and unpublished systematic reviews and impact evaluations up to April 2018.

View brief | View video

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Agricultural innovation: an evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map, funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, presents existing evidence on agricultural inputs, practices and programmes aimed at improving farmers’ productivity and well-being. It further highlights prominent evidence gaps on cost-effectiveness, measurements of spillover effects and the use of experimental evaluation methods.

View report

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Evidence gap map on social, behavioural and community engagement interventions

Evidence gap map

This map, produced by the World Health Organization and 3ie, presents the evidence available on social, behavioural and community engagement interventions related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health programmes in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). Financial support was provided by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and USAID.

View brief | View report

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A map of evidence maps relating to sustainable development in L&MICs

Evidence gap map

This map of evidence maps, funded by the Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning and the UK Department for International Development, presents the findings related to sustainable development in L&MICs.

View brief

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Agricultural risk and mitigation gap map

Evidence gap map

This map, funded by the UK Department for International Development, presents existing evidence on agricultural insurance interventions that aim to improve smallholder farmer resilience in L&MICs.

View brief | View report

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Intimate partner violence prevention evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map highlights important gaps in the rigorous evidence base of intimate partner violence prevention in L&MICs.

Download in excel | View brief | View report

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State-society relations evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map consolidates evidence on interventions to improve state-society relations in L&MICs.

View brief | View report

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Science, technology, innovation and partnerships evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map, funded by the US Global Development Lab at USAID, presents the impact evaluation and systematic review evidence base for how science, technology, innovation and partnerships accelerate development outcomes in L&MICs.

Download in excel | View video | View brief | View report

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Adolescent sexual and reproductive health evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map, funded by the Hewlett Foundation, presents existing evidence on the effects of adolescent sexual and reproductive health programming in L&MICs.

Download in excel | View video | View report

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Forest Conservation gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents existing evidence on forest conservation in L&MICs. Our clearest finding is that there a paucity of high-quality evidence in areas significant for policy, such as the effect of forest-related climate change policies, trade laws and management, or education and awareness campaigns on environmental and social outcomes in forests.

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Land use change and forestry evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents the evidence available on the effects of land-use change and forestry programmes on greenhouse gas emissions and human welfare outcomes. Our clearest finding is that there is a major gap in the evidence addressing effects on both emissions and human welfare outcomes, including food security. Moreover, few studies measured greenhouse gas emissions or food security directly.

View brief | View report

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Youth and transferable skills evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents existing evidence on the outcomes of transferable skills programming for youth in L&MICs and highlights where there are important gaps in this evidence base. Transferable skills, often referred to as soft, non-cognitive or life skills, provide youth with the tools and confidence to succeed in term of employment, health and personal well-being.

View brief | View report

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Evidence for peacebuilding evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents existing evidence on the outcomes of peacebuilding interventions in conflict-affected settings in L&MICs. Interventions were mapped in five thematic areas, including legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations, and revenues and social services.

View report

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Primary and secondary education evidence gap map

Evidence gap map

This map presents evidence on interventions designed to improve access to education and learning outcomes for primary and secondary school children in L&MICs.