3ie’s expanding portfolio of research on climate change evidence now includes a groundbreaking first-of-its-kind evidence gap map (EGM) of sustainable energy interventions in low- and middle-income countries. This map is significant since we have crossed the halfway point of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with mixed progress towards SDG 7 – affordable and clean energy. It is also a unique co-funded and co-produced initiative between 3ie and Sustainable Energy for ALL (SEforALL).

Our EGM includes 703 studies: 668 impact evaluations and 35 systematic reviews. While the evidence base is growing and large, it remains concentrated around a few intervention categories, pointing towards prominent evidence gaps.

Our mapping and synthesis of rigorous evidence on this topic will strengthen efforts to promote sustainable energy as well as guide future research to fill the gaps identified.

While our recent blog summarises the key findings of the update, here are a few highlights:

  • We found several studies on sustainable upgrades; other energy regulations and policies; subsidies and other transfers; and on-grid systems.
  • We also found absolute evidence gaps—where there are very few or no studies—in insurance and other risk guarantee instruments; push and pull finance; and advocacy and diplomacy.
  • Geographically, nearly half of all studies added evaluated an intervention in either China or India. There were no evaluations of on-grid or off-grid electrification interventions in six countries where less than 20% of the population has access to electricity.
  • Improved cookstoves and cooking were the dominant technology and use of energy identified.

As part of this initiative, we are also working to produce a systematic review of the existing evidence on the facilitators and barriers in relation to off-grid interventions designed to increase energy access. 

Read findings blog | Read report | View interactive EGM | Read about the project

Integrating cost evidence in impact evaluation 

We recently published an easy-to-use handbook with stepwise guidance on how to design, implement, and report metrics of cost-effectiveness in experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluation designs. With accurate cost data, cost analysis can inform decisions on resource planning, budgeting for future projects, and scaling up. This kind of information plays an important role in assessing which project option is the most feasible and justified, especially in contexts where need is high and financial resources are scarce.

The guide can be adapted for different programs by researchers, implementation teams, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) officers, and funders, such as government and donors. It includes practical guidance on how to:

  • Define the intervention and study scope
  • Design a cost collection template
  • Collect and adjust costs
  • Report costs and impact

 Read blog  | Read the handbook | Read about our costing work

Featured | Food systems and nutrition evidence and gap map – Update #7

Last year, during a ‘UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment’, the UN Secretary-General called for accelerated action to transform the food systems. Since 2020, we have been updating our flagship living Food Systems and Nutrition Evidence and Gap Map (E&GM) to ensure the availability of the latest evidence on interventions in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs) that function within food systems and measure outcomes related to food security and nutrition. Recently, we made the seventh update to the E&GM–with support from BMZ through GIZ’s “Knowledge for Nutrition” programme.

Here are key highlights of the latest update:

  • Evidence on social assistance and social insurance is growing—we added 344 studies to this category
  • Gaps in evidence on measures of diet insufficiency and measures of food loss are narrowing—we added 83 new studies
  • The top three most evaluated intervention areas in this update are unconditional and conditional cash transfers, followed by the provision of food
  • The evidence base around one of the identified gaps—women’s empowerment outcomes—is growing significantly. The map now has 128 studies, including 43 from the current update

Read findings blog | Read update note | View living E&GM | Read more about the project

Help us strengthen the evidence base on women’s empowerment through nutrition interventions:

We are conducting a rapid evidence assessment of the effects of food systems and nutrition interventions on women’s empowerment outcomes. The existing analyses focus on the effects of women's empowerment interventions on food security outcomes and not the converse. Please read our recent blog about the project and how it can help address the gender differential.

You can also write to if you want to share study suggestions, join our REA project advisory group or a mailing list to receive the preliminary findings and updates from this project.



Upcoming events

What Works Climate Solutions Summit | 9–12 June 2024, Berlin
The What Works Climate Solutions Summit (WWCS) is a high-level conference for evidence-based climate policy to promote and catalyze synthetic evidence on climate solutions for upcoming climate change assessments – particularly the IPCC’s 7th Assessment Report ─ as well as other forms of scientific policy advice. 3ie is a partner organization and our Executive Director Marie Gaarder, who is part of the steering committee, will moderate a panel discussion about ‘The critical role of evidence-based policy to solve the climate crisis’ on 10 June at 8:30am CEST.

Read more | Register for the in-person event

Past events

3ie hosted five sessions at the 2024 gLocal Evaluation Week, convened by the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). 3ie led two sessions in English:


Our WACIE team led three sessions for French-speaking audiences:


Join our growing and dynamic team by applying for one of these unique and impactful roles. View all the current opportunities here.

Senior Research Fellow

3ie senior research fellow3ie’s Senior Research Fellows Program includes experts from various sectors – including development, evaluation, policy as well as academia. This month, we feature Jennifer Stevenson, who was, until recently, Acting Head of Evaluation at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the What Works Centre for Education in England. She has previously spent six years working with 3ie’s Synthesis and Reviews Office where she contributed to methodological development and production of systematic reviews and evidence gap maps in international development. She is also an Associate Editor for the International Development Coordinating Group of the Campbell Collaboration. Read more

Since 2020, 3ie's Fellowship Program has contributed to achieving our mission by tapping into diverse expertise and experience across the world.