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February 2017   Making Evidence matter
Evidence uptake and use from 3ie-funded studies
Changing programme design to improve student’s academic achievement in China: An impact evaluation by researchers at the Shaanxi Normal University assessed the impact of a government implemented computer assisted learning (CAL) programme versus a similar programme implemented by researchers. The study showed that the researcher-led CAL programme significantly improved student’s English test scores compared to students that received the government-implemented CAL programme. The poor performance of the government-implemented programme was most likely triggered by schools using existing English teachers to supervise the CAL programme and replacing the regular classes with CAL sessions. In Qinghai province, where the study was implemented, the Haidong Prefecture Education Bureau has now decided to implement CAL after school hours for schools that have computers.
Useful resources
How-to video on using evidence gap maps:
Thousands of impact evaluation reports and systematic reviews on different development programmes are published every year. But this research lies scattered in journals, databases and websites. How can we then quickly consolidate what we know and don’t know on specific development themes or sectors?

In this video, 3ie’s Birte Snilstveit shows how the innovative 3ie evidence gap maps (EGMs) can address this challenge. EGMs consolidate what we know about what works in particular development sectors or thematic areas.

They provide a visual display of completed and ongoing systematic reviews and impact evaluations in a sector or sub-sector, structured around a framework of interventions and outcomes. EGMs are a useful tool for development decision makers, researchers and donors looking for evidence to inform programme investments and identify where there is an urgent need for more research or rigorous evaluation.


3ie’s interactive online platform allows users to explore the evidence included in a particular EGM, including links to each included study and review. To know more about evidence gap maps and how to conduct them, click here.

Click here to see the full how-to video.
New 3ie publications
Evidence gap map reports: Adolescent sexual and reproductive health: an evidence gap map and Examining the evidence base for forest conservation interventions.

Impact evaluation reports: The impact of the Productive Safety Net Programme on schooling, child labour and the nutritional status of children in Ethiopia;The impact of skills training on financial behaviour, employability, and educational choice of youth in Morocco and The better obstetrics in rural Nigeria (BORN) study: an impact evaluation of the Nigerian midwives service scheme.

Impact evaluation briefs: Can peers and other influencers increase voluntary medical male circumcision uptake?; Do lottery-based incentives help increase voluntary medical male circumcision?; Does skilling Moroccan youth help them become employed?; Do incentives improve tax collectors’ performance and increase tax collection in Pakistan?; Evaluating the impact of computer-assisted instruction and learning in China and Exploring the impacts and ethics of providing economic incentives to increase voluntary medical male circumcision.

Replication brief: We have produced an overview of the 3ie replication programme.

Scoping paper: Adolescent sexual and reproductive health: scoping the impact of programming in low- and middle-income countries.

Systematic review brief: What factors impact the effectiveness of emergency WASH interventions?

Systematic review technical reports: Community monitoring to curb corruption and increase efficiency in service delivery: evidence from low-income communities and Short-term WASH interventions in emergency response: a systematic review.

Working paper: Examining the evidence on the effectiveness of India’s rural employment guarantee act
Peer-reviewed publications of 3ie-funded studies
Click here to access a list of the recent peer-reviewed publications of 3ie-funded research.
3ie @events
Governance and service delivery in India- leveraging national and global evidence, New Delhi, 9 February
3ie, the Campbell Collaboration and the Global Development Network (GDN) organised a half-day conference that brought together national and international economic growth and development specialists to discuss how to leverage national and global research-based evidence on governance and service delivery in India.

In his key note address, Dr A Santhosh Mathews (Ministry of Rural Development) spoke about the need to promote the use of evidence in policymaking. This was possible, he said, by creating a network of champions, equipping them to spot opportunities for evidence use and building capacity within this network to commission and generate evidence. Giving an example of how the Indian government uses evidence, he cited the findings from a 3ie-funded impact evaluation on the national rural employment guarantee scheme.

Panellists in the first session agreed that more and better data on governance and service delivery needed to be collected, validated and authenticated, before it could effectively inform policy. Watch the video here.

Panellists in the second session focused on identifying gaps in evidence and explored possible avenues for collaboration between the government and research organisations in India and those abroad. Rohini Somanathan (Delhi School of Economics) called for creating spaces where stakeholders can work together to
use the data they already have. Watch the video here.

Enhancing the quality of service delivery, Kuala Lumpur, 16-17 January 2017: 3ie’s Emmanuel Jimenez participated in a two-day conference on key public services hosted by the World Bank, Malaysia. In the panel on Generalising and scaling from impact evaluations- virtues and limits, he discussed the lessons learned from 3ie’s systematic review of the impacts of education programmes in L&MICs. He also participated on a panel to give feedback on the emerging message of the Bank’s upcoming 2018 World Development Report on Education.

3ie-LIDC London seminar, 1 February 2017:Britta Augsburg from the Institute of Fiscal Studies discussed the findings from a study that examines effects of sanitation coverage and usage on child height for age in a semi-urban setting in northern India. Read more here.

3ie-LIDC London seminar, 22 February 2017: Ken Chomitz, chief analytics officer at the Global Investment Fund (GIF) spoke on his organisation’s approach to tracking the evidence of impact and boosting the impact of evidence. He described how GIF predicts and measures impact in order to maximise the social benefits of its investments. Read about the event here.

Upcoming events
AfrEA Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 27-31 March 2017
3ie is one of the co-sponsors of the upcoming African Evaluation Association conference in Kampala, we are very much looking forward to seeing some of you there. One of our workshop sessions is going to be an experience-sharing dialogue with participants about their capacity-building experience, needs and interests in the African region.

Survey: Capacity across Africa to produce systematic reviews and other evidence syntheses and evidence maps: We are collaborating with the African Evidence Network to help us learn more about capacity needs and demand for capacity building in these areas, , They are running a short online survey, please click here to take it. They will be sharing the results at the end of March, as part of a dialogue on capacity building in the region. We appreciate your taking the time to respond to the survey, if you have not done so already.

Member webinar, 13 December 2016
At the 3ie-Norad webinar on country evaluation briefs 13 December 2016, Jan-Petter Holtedahl, Norad senior evaluation advisor, spoke about the piloting their new briefs, which are aimed at supporting Norad’s efforts to institutionalise the use of evidence internally in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Norwegian Embassies. Beryl Leach, 3ie deputy director and head of policy, advocacy and communication, shared some reactions in strongly supporting their introduction. She drew on 3ie’s experience in promoting the use of evidence to help explain their value. Watch the webinar video here.
3ie in the news
In US National Public Radio’s article on aid based on the conference at the Centre for Global Development, 3ie's executive director Emmanuel Jimenez discusses the steady rise in the production of impact evaluations and the need for researchers to work directly with policymakers. Read the full article which includes interviews with J-PAL's Rachel Glennerster, Abhijit Banerjee and the Center for Global Development's Amanda Glassman.

Findings from 3ie’s education effectiveness review were cited in an article discussing the effectiveness of digital classrooms in Kenya. The author questions the move by tech start-ups in Kenya to invest in computer-assisted learning to improve literacy. She cites 3ie’s review, saying such programmes have ‘decidedly mixed results,’ and depend on the context. Read the full article here.

Annette N Brown, lead, Research and Evaluation Strategic Initiative, mentioned 3ie’s HIV self-testing thematic window on the Research for Evidence website. In Null results should produce answers, not excuses, she argues that with the current huge investment into individual impact evaluations, especially large field trials, null results should produce answers, not excuses.


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