3ie established a replication programme as a global public good to help improve the quality and reliability of impact evaluation evidence used for development decision-making.
The programme highlights the benefits of the replication of impact evaluations of development studies in order to incentivise replication of influential, innovative or controversial impact evaluations of development interventions.
What is replication?
Replication is the most established method of research validation in science. The replications funded by 3ie are internal replications. They use data from the original study, and possibly existing secondary datasets from the same location, in order to check the validity and robustness of the estimations and recommendations.
This selected bibliography attests to the fact that there are a growing number of replications in economics. For a multidisciplinary list of previous research on the practice of replication, see our replication methodologies bibliography. A comprehensive database of replication studies can also be found on the University of Göttingen's replication wiki website.
For a list of frequently asked questions about the 3ie Impact Evaluation Replication Programme, download the FAQ document (234.2 KB)
Benefits of replication
Where 3ie-funded replication studies confirm that the impact evaluation findings are valid and robust, they lend additional credibility to these findings for use in policy and programme decision-making. For impact evaluations revealed to have invalid or non-robust findings, the replication results caution decision makers in the use of those findings. The overall benefit of 3ie’s programme, though, is to improve the incentives for all impact evaluators to conduct careful analysis leading to credible findings in the first place.
- Replication Window: 3ie’s replication windows provide funding for researchers to conduct replication studies of impact evaluations of development interventions.
- In-house replication: 3ie’s qualified staff also conduct replication studies and develop guidance on replication methodology.
- Data Preparation and Release Window: 3ie provides funding to original authors of 3ie-funded replication studies, published before September 2013, for preparing their raw datasets and accompanying codebooks for public release.
- Replication Paper Series: The replication paper series publishes replication studies funded through the replication programme, and may publish qualifying external submissions to the series
For more information about 3ie's Impact Evaluation Replication Programme, please download 3ie's replication programme document
3ie is committed to encouraging open and constructive dialogue between replication researchers and original authors. To support this goal, we have created the 3ie replication programme notification and communication policy. We would like to thank everyone who helped strengthen this policy through their comments and suggestions.
For more information, read the Brown, AN, Cameron, DB, and Wood, BDK, 2014. Quality evidence for policymaking: I’ll believe it when I see the replication, 3ie Replication Paper 1