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October 2016   Making Evidence matter
3ie launches major review on education effectiveness

3ie launched our comprehensive systematic review on education effectiveness in 52 low- and middle-income countries last month at the What Works Global Summit (WWGS) in London on 27 September.

The review examined the impact of 216 education programmes covering 16 million children. It synthesised evidence on the effects of 21 different types of education interventions on children’s school enrolment, attendance, completion and learning. The results, based on evidence from 238 studies, show that programmes that address child and household constraints to children’s education may be particularly effective at improving participation outcomes. Cash transfers are most effective in improving school participation, while merit-based scholarships have been more successful in improving learning outcomes. School-feeding is a promising intervention for improving both school participation and test scores. Read more about the 3ie systematic review in the newly published summary report and brief here.
Packed audiences for the London launch of the 3ie review More than 160 people crowded into the official launch at an evening public lecture, making it the best-attended event of the summit. After a welcome by Richard Manning, chair of the 3ie Board of Commissioners, 3ie’s lead author Birte Snilstveit presented the main findings. Emmanuel Jimenez moderated a high-powered panel and audience discussion that confirmed that this review is a major contribution to the evidence base that deserves wide reading and use by decision-makers.

David Evans (senior economist at the World Bank) expressed appreciation for the exhaustiveness of the review process and noted that there was valuable literature contained in the systematic review which had not been uncovered in previous reviews. (Click on the thumbnail to watch an excerpt of his interview) Caine Rolleston (professor at the Institute of Education of UCL) pressed the point that the findings should be benchmarked in a given country context, with the further work of translating the main messages into policy solutions potentially incomplete until policymakers understood how to interpret the evidence. Sally Gear (head of profession, education for DFID) offered the important donor perspective on how this report “adds a huge value to what we already know.”

Events to watch out for
3ie is launching the review report in Paris at an open event hosted by UNESCO and IIEP on 20 October, and on 3 November in Washington at the World Bank, which will be co-hosted by the Independent Evaluation Group at the bank. 3ie is also organising a half-day seminar with J-PAL South Asia on 16 November during the 3ie Delhi Evidence Week 2017 on this review. Click here to receive 3ie mailers about these events.

New funding opportunities
Impact evaluation of a health intervention in Cameroon: 3ie is requesting research organisations or consortia to submit qualifications for a proposal preparation grant under 3ie’s Policy Window 3. The proposal preparation grant will be for the rigorous impact evaluation of a health intervention implemented or supported by the Ministry of Public Health. The deadline for submitting proposals is 14 November 2016. Click here for more information.
New associate members
Research Solutions Africa Ltd, Kenya; Micro-Credit Ratings International (M-CRIL) India and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Evidence uptake and use from 3ie-funded study
Informing decisions to improve early childhood development outcomes in Mexico: The National Council for Educational Development (CONAFE) in Mexico has invested in a low-cost early childhood development programme, where trained members from highly marginalised rural communities provide out-of-school training to parents. The training focuses on fathers and caregivers of newborn babies and children up to four years of age to increase their involvement in child-rearing. CONAFE expressed interest in commissioning an impact evaluation after discussions with World Bank researchers. This is the first evaluation of the programme in the 20 years of its existence. The study showed that while the programme had low take-up, it had positive impacts on both parenting practices and child development outcomes, such as communication and motor skills. The study also found that parent training implemented through community-based models can be effectively implemented at a low cost. Findings from the impact evaluation have contributed to the decision to renew the World Bank’s financial support for the programme. CONAFE has expressed willingness to improve the implementation of the programme and will redesign some aspects of the programme based on the study findings.
3ie at events
3ie was a co-organiser of the What Works Global Summit, held in London from 24-28 September that brought together over 850 participants from across the world. The first two days of the summit consisted of pre-summit workshops, of which eight were organised by 3ie. 3ie staff were also involved in organising and participating in 25 sessions. 3ie’s executive director Emmanuel Jimenez spoke at the closing plenary on the demand for rigour in evidence. 3ie events were very well-attended and attracted lots of positive buzz and tweets. To read more about 3ie’s participation in WWGS, click here.

Upcoming 3ie seminars
3ie-LIDC seminar London, 5 October
Cash transfers: What Does the Evidence Say? A Rigorous Review of Programme Impact and of the Role of Design and Implementation Features This presentation by Francesca Bastagli (Overseas Development Institute) looked at the evidence on the effects of cash transfers on individuals and households through a rigorous review of the literature from 2000 to 2015 covering L&MICs worldwide.
3ie Delhi seminar, 20 October: The role and interpretation of pilot studies in impact evaluation research. Shagun Sabarwal, (CLEAR/J-PAL South Asia at IFMR) will speak on the example of a recent pilot study done in collaboration with the Government of Punjab, India as a precursor to a full-scale cluster randomised evaluation. The findings from the pilot study informed the theory of change of the intervention as well as the design of the randomised evaluation. Click here to register for the seminar.
3ie-LIDC seminar London, 26 October What policies and interventions have been strongly associated with changes in in-country income inequality? A systematic review Edvard Anderson (School of International Development, University of East Anglia) will present on how to identify and synthesise the empirical evidence on the impact of government policies on income inequality in L&MICs. Click here to register for the seminar.
New 3ie publications
Impact evaluation reports
The impact of earned and windfall cash transfers on livelihoods and conservation in Sierra Leone: This study by Bulte et al. measures the impact of a cash transfer programme aimed at alleviating poverty and reducing pressure on the natural environment in Sierra Leone;
Property tax experiment in Pakistan: incentivising tax collection and improving performance; This report is based on study by Khan, Khwaja and Olken that designed and evaluated performance pay packages for the Excise and Taxation department in Punjab, Pakistan;
Impact of mobile message reminders on tuberculosis treatment outcomes in Pakistan; This report by Mohammed et al. examines the impact of mobile-based health interventions in Pakistan to promote long-term adherence to treatment;
Making networks work for policy: evidence from agricultural technology adoption in Malawi; This report by Beaman et al. tests training diffusion partners chosen using a theory-based selection approach and whether it leads to greater adoption of new agricultural technologies in Malawi;
Estimating the impact and cost-effectiveness of expanding access to secondary education in Ghana; The study examined the medium-term impacts of providing four-year scholarships to students who could not enrol in senior secondary schools (SHS) due to financial constraints;
Improving maternal and child health in India; This study by Mohanan et al. evaluated two programmes by Indian state governments that enabled pregnant women from poor households to access free maternity care at public or private hospitals;
Evaluating the impact of vocational education vouchers on out-of-school youth in Kenya; This study by Hicks et al. assesses the impact of a vocational training programme on out-of-school Kenyan youth aged 17-28 years;
and Effectiveness of a rural sanitation programme on diarrhoea, soil-transmitted helminth infection and malnutrition in India. This report is based on a cluster-randomised evaluation by Clasen et al. conducted in 100 villages of Odisha, India to test the effectiveness of a rural sanitation intervention that was part of the Government of India’s Total Sanitation Campaign.

Systematic reviews
Youth gang membership and violence in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review (Part I); and Youth gang violence and preventative measures in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review (Part II).

Replication papers
Power to the people? A replication study of a community-based monitoring programme in Uganda

3ie Briefs
The impact of school programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries; What is the evidence on smallholder agriculture interventions in Africa?; What evidence do we have on transferable skills programming for youth in low- and middle-income countries?
Implementation learning 3ie has started publishing briefs based on the learning from our various impact evaluation grant windows. Here is the first one, Early implementation lessons from 3ie-supported impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance.
3ie peer-reviewed publications
Click here to access a list of the recent peer-reviewed publications of 3ie-funded research.
3ie in the news
The launch of 3ie’s education effectiveness review was widely discussed in the social media. The launch and the main findings were also reported in the Independent, Scidev.net and The Statesman.

3ie-funded IMATCHINE study that looked into the Chiranjeevi maternal and child health programme of the Gujarat government of India was referred to in the foreword by Bill Gates for the third edition of the book Millions Saved, edited by Amanda Glassman. Click here to read the 3ie report.
New on the 3ie Evidence Matters blog
Is HIV self-testing passing the test? At the AIDS2016 conference, several studies, including three funded by 3ie, presented exciting new evidence from impact evaluations that showed that HIV self-tests can significantly increase HIV testing rates. In this blog, Anna Heard and Annette Brown discuss recent studies that have generated evidence on the high-potential of HIV self-testing to access populations at higher risk of HIV.
What did I learn about the demand for impact evaluations at the What Works Global Summit? In this blog, Emmanuel Jimenez talks about his observations from the discussions at WWGS on the importance of evidence from impact evaluations that use a counterfactual and of commissioning and using more that are from developing countries.

Visit the blog, Evidence Matters to view all of our posts.
Other updates
Impact Evaluation Repository (IER): 3ie’s recently fully updated IER now holds 4,260 impact evaluation records, including those in French, Portuguese and Spanish.

3ie’s official Twitter handle now has over 10k followers. We encourage our members, associate members and other partners to follow us on @3ieNews to receive alerts on funding, jobs and updates about new 3ie publications and events involving 3ie staff.

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We regularly post announcements related to impact evaluations and systematic reviews of development programmes from other organisations, such as research grants, events, jobs and training programmes on our website and in our newsletters. Please email your announcements with a short blurb and web link to announcements@3ieimpact.org

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