Strengthening evidence and economic modelling partnership project
3ie, in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), is working to strengthen evidence use in MCC’s programme designs and investment decisions. 3ie will support MCC to ensure their economic modelling, project design and evaluation approaches are at the cutting edge of development science while simultaneously building a repository of learning that benefits other policymakers and funders.
Created by the U.S. Congress in 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign assistance agency helping to lead the fight against global poverty. MCC partners with developing countries who are committed to good governance, economic freedoms, and investing in their own citizens to deliver large-scale grant programs to reduce poverty through economic growth.
MCC is at the forefront of evidenced-informed program design and holds itself to a high standard for grounding its logic models in the best available data. 3ie has partnered with MCC to contribute to their evidenced-informed approach while at the same time furthering our core mission of providing reliable, relevant evidence to policy makers. Leveraging our extensive repositories of rigorous research, we are bringing this evidence – as well as the thought leadership of relevant experts from our extensive network of academics and practitioner-researchers – to bear as an aid to MCC investment decisions.
Overview of project activities
3ie will be supporting five MCC teams through three different activities.
‘Just-in-Time Support’ for policy and institutional reform
Sound public policies and functional institutions provide the conditions in which sectors can develop and the economy can grow. For example, the impacts of legal and regulatory climates on sectors like infrastructure are of critical concern to the viability and sustainability of projects. To design and implement reform initiatives, improve policies and institutions, decision-makers require solid evidence on what works, doesn’t work, and why and how. While some relevant evidence exists, it might not be easily available in a format that is useful for decision makers.
To support MCC teams and their country partners, 3ie is developing and testing a ’Just-in-Time Support’ model where some of our experts are providing tailored support to the MCC Tunisia country team. The model includes support to the Tunisia country economists to develop their cost-benefit analysis models to inform policy and institutional reforms aimed at improving business climate in the country.
Rapid evidence assessments in Burkina Faso and Timor-Leste.
3ie is working with country teams in Burkina Faso and Timor-Leste to conduct rapid evidence assessments on proposed infrastructure interventions.
The Burkina Faso country team is designing a randomized controlled trial to understand what interventions work best to increase electricity grid connections in two urban cities in Burkina Faso. 3ie is conducting a rapid evidence assessment on demand-side interventions that aim to increase the affordability and to reduce the administrative burden of accessing electricity for households. This assessment will be used to refine the country team’s design of the RCT.
The Timor-Leste country team is planning to invest in urban water infrastructure interventions in the city of Dili. 3ie is conducting a rapid evidence assessment of large-scale urban water infrastructure interventions, including chlorination of centralised water supply, expansion of drainage systems, and construction of an urban sewer system. This assessment will inform the cost-benefit analyses of the three interventions and help refine them.
Evaluability assessment process review
3ie, with the MCC economic analysis team and the M&E team, is conducting a review of MCC’s evaluation processes. This review will help MCC improve how they conduct evaluations.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation has provided funding and support for this joint project.
Note: The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) nor that of the US Government.