3ie Evidence Gap Maps

A tool for evidence-informed policy and strategic research prioritisation

Speakers: Birte Snilstveit and Martina Vojtkova, Evaluation Specialists, 3ie
Chair: Philip Davies, Deputy Director - Synthesis and Reviews, 3ie
Discussants: Ellie Ott, Humanitarian Evidence Programme and Communications Manager,  OXFAM, Nina Marshall, Deputy Head, International Development Research Team, ESRC, Laura Koch, Policy Analyst, Evidence into Action Team (DFID)
Date: 5 February, 3:30–5.30 p.m.
Venue: Manson Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK

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To date over 2000 impact evaluations and 300 systematic reviews assessing the effects of international development interventions have either been completed or are on-going. The rapid increase in the production of new studies, however, also present challenges. For instance we need to ensure that the evidence that is produced by these studies is useful and accessible to a broad range of decision-makers. We also need to ensure that research funding is used efficiently, with priorities in research and evaluation procurement responding to gaps in the evidence base.

Intervening in people’s lives without considering the best available evidence carries a risk of wasting opportunities, misusing resources and possibly doing harm. Similarly, conducting and commissioning new research without being informed by existing research can result in the inefficient use of scarce research resources which, in turn, may hamper the scientific process.

Evidence Gap Maps (EGMs) present a new tool to assist users and producers of evidence in addressing these challenges.

EGMs consolidate what we know about the effects of interventions in a particular sector. They provide a visual overview of the evidence from systematic reviews and impact evaluations mapped into a framework of relevant interventions and outcomes in that sector. 3ie has developed a new interactive online platform which allows users to explore the evidence included in a particular EGM, with links to user friendly summaries of all studies.

More information on gap maps here

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