3ie News | May 2018
Evidence • Action • Impact
Evidence uptake and use from 3ie-funded studies
3ie-supported systematic review informs DFID’s research agenda for the new Disabilities Inclusive Development Programme
A 3ie-supported systematic review on community-based rehabilitation has informed DFID’s research agenda for its new Disabilities Inclusive Development Programme. DFID cited it in determining the scope of its research programme component and the priority research areas. It has also recommended that researchers review the sampling and methods used in this review to inform their research designs.
3ie’s new research transparency policy: feedback welcome
3ie has always been strongly committed to research transparency and open access to data. Our newly launched research transparency policy articulates our commitment and aligns our policy with the transparency policies of our key funders. We view this policy as a living document. If you have feedback or questions, please write to 3ie@3ieimpact.org, with ‘RTP feedback’ in the subject line.
3ie Delhi Evidence Week 2018
As part of our ongoing 10-year celebrations, we hosted a series of internal and external events from 16-20 April in New Delhi. These included the bi-annual board meeting and the tenth annual members’ conference. Twenty-one members discussed regional capacity-building models and we highlighted our West Africa Capacity-building and Impact Evaluation Programme. Members also had a chance to share successful examples of L&MIC peer learning and policymaker engagement.
Highlights from our conference, Pushing the frontiers of evaluation effectiveness and excellence: 3ie’s first decade
Our conference attracted more than 220 participants, which is a record for 3ie evidence weeks. We drew a good mix of donors, implementing partners, grantees and evaluation and development experts. You can read more about these sessions on our website and watch all the discussions on our YouTube page.
Keynote address by Varun Gauri on the critical role of evidence in context
Varun Gauri (World Bank) spoke on the importance of using behavioural science to inform development programmes and policies and the context in which they operate. According to him, behavioural science can help researchers identify biases among beneficiaries and policymakers.
Nudging and beyond: informing policy through behavioural science
Panellists shared various behavioural science approaches adopted by their organisations, for instance the World Bank’s CRI²SP framework (Communication, resources, incentives and information, social and psychological factors) to inform project design. They also discussed considering mind sets as outcome measures, moving beyond methods that had no effects, and focusing on pilot tests or simulated decision-making to understand how people think.
Using evidence gap maps to inform policy and research
3ie staff led this panel, sharing how evidence gap maps (EGMs) have been and can be used by decision makers. Ann Flanagan (World Bank IEG) explained how they have used mapping methodology to understand support services in the health sector, how EGMs can help to explain what intervention and outcome areas could be amenable to scale-up and where potential programmatic overlaps may lie. Yamini Atmavilas (Gates Foundation) explained how they were using 3ie’s upcoming EGM on India’s National Rural Livelihoods Mission in real-time to inform programme implementation on the ground.
Technology in impact evaluations: making them bigger, better and faster
Panellists gave examples of using technology in conducting evaluations, specifically: satellite data for policy evaluations; electronic tablets an application to collect for immunisation data; and machine learning algorithms to assess crop-losses for insurance. Some of the challenges they shared include improved technical knowledge within research teams, reduced face-to-face interactions with beneficiaries, natural aversions to technology use, ethical considerations of data collection and the cost implications of introducing technologies in high volumes.
Forging partnerships with governments for evidence-informed decision-making
Representatives from four L&MIC country governments shared ideas on strengthening linkages and partnerships among researchers, implementers and governments to facilitate evidence-based decision-making. Panellists called for strengthening the culture of evaluation by building capacity of government staff, and improving systems. They stressed the importance of building relationships with decision makers and getting buy-in from programme staff for evaluations.
A match made in evidence: pairing the right designs with the right questions
3ie impact evaluation grantees talked about the challenges and lessons learned from formative research and evaluations. They agreed that the formative phase was crucial to testing the design, as it allowed time for understanding the context, build relationships with key stakeholders, understand the evidence base and address issues of equity in their interventions.
What are we learning from systematic reviews of evidence of women’s empowerment?
Panellists discussed the need for reviews and studies to be gender responsive. Theories of change need to look at barriers to and facilitators of gender equality. Evaluations need to analyse gendered social norms and address issues of inequality and bias. Two main challenges with evaluating outcomes for women were the incomparability of outcome measures across similar interventions; and the need for better empowerment indicators so that interventions can be designed to address gendered community norms that affect social outcomes.
The role of researchers in promoting evidence use: what have we learned?
Timothy Lubanga (Ugandan Office of the Prime Minister) highlighted three key actions researchers should do: develop research agendas informed by policy processes, translate findings into sector-specific formats, and invest more time following up on how evidence recommendations are informing decision-making. Ronald Abraham (IDInsight) challenged assumptions by pointing out that major policy changes are not evidence informed, such as demonetization in India. Shagun Sabarwal (J-PAL South Asia) agreed that more policy-advocacy institutions are needed to bridge the gap between evidence production and its use in high-level decisions.
Ruth Levine on the moral quest for evidence
In her closing remarks, Ruth Levine (Hewlett Foundation, 3ie board chair) called on the evidence community to anchor their work in the moral quest for truth, justice, the pursuit of an inclusive future and a dedication to contributing towards human progress. She reminded participants that distributive justice is at the heart of the development agenda.
Global launch: New 3ie synthesis of community-driven development effectiveness evidence
We launched our new working paper on community-driven development with presentations by the authors, Radhika Menon (3ie) and Howard White (Campbell Collaboration) at USAID, the World Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation and at Delhi Evidence Week. They focused findings about how these programmes have evolved over the years and what their impact has been (read the report here and the brief here). The events gave us an opportunity to engage with people who had worked on some of the community-driven development or reconstruction programmes included in the evidence synthesis, which added valuable perspectives.
3ie members’ webinar: impact evaluation and its uses in impact bonds
3ie co-hosted its seventh member webinar with the Buenos Aires city government, and Instiglio, a results-based financing advisory firm. The speakers provided a primer on impact bonds, results-based financing and how impact evaluations can be used to inform their construction and evaluation.
Upcoming 3ie-LIDC London seminar
Using internal evaluations to measure organisational impact: a meta-analysis of Oxfam GB’s women’s empowerment programmes, 23 May, London, UK
New 3ie publications
Impact evaluation brief: Does information on agricultural technology encourage adoption? and A low-cost patient appointment and tracking system for ART at reproductive and child health clinics in Tanzania

Impact evaluation reports: How should Tanzania use its natural gas? Citizens’ views from a nationwide Deliberative Poll; Poverty and empowerment impacts of the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project in India and The impact of adopting risk-reducing, drought-tolerant rice in India

Learning brief: Managing and implementing impact evaluations: lessons from 3ie agricultural innovation grants

Replication papers: Preventing HIV and HSV-2 through improving knowledge and attitudes: a replication study of a multicomponent intervention in Zimbabwe

Systematic review briefs: Using a life-cycle approach to target WASH policies and programmes in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa

Working paper brief: Does community-driven development build social cohesion or infrastructure?

Working paper: Community-driven development: does it build social cohesion or infrastructure? A mixed-method evidence synthesis and Synthesis of impact evaluations of the World Food Programme’s nutrition interventions in humanitarian settings in the Sahel
3ie-funded research in peer-reviewed publications
Please click here to access the current list of all the 3ie-funded studies and 3ie-produced publications appearing in peer-reviewed publications.
New Resource
Special issue of the Journal of Development Effectiveness
This issue features papers by 3ie staff and some of our systematic review grantees. An editorial by Hugh Waddington (3ie) outlines the role of systematic evidence in informing better decisions to help achieve global development goals. The authors have concentrated on various aspects of systematic reviews informed by programme theory. Click here to read the papers (Subscription required).
New 3ie blog
The role of replication in revising WHO guidelines: the case of TB and HIV co-infection
The World Health Organization guidelines on the timing of treatments for TB and HIV co-infection have not been revised since 2011. The current standards, based on three seminal studies, recommend initiating anti-retroviral therapy within two weeks for HIV and TB co-infected individuals with CD4 counts less than 50. In this new blog, 3ie's Benjamin Wood and Anna Heard present the results of a recent replication study that finds that the reanalysis of one of the original co-infection studies showsthat thresholds for minimum CD4 count and timing do not exist.
Bursaries available for Evidence 2018, 25-28 September, South Africa

3ie is offering seven bursaries for African nationals to attend Evidence 2018 from 25-28 September in Pretoria, South Africa. This regional conference, organised by Africa Evidence Network, aims to encourage and promote evidence-based decision-making in Africa. The deadline to apply for bursaries is 1 June 2018. To apply for bursaries, click here.
Job opportunities at 3ie Job opportunities at other organisations
Consultant- Implementation research in nutrition, New Delhi Evidence to Action Officer, International Rescue Committee, New York
3ie News is a bi-monthly newsletter of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). We are an international grant-making NGO promoting evidence-informed development policies and programmes. We are the global leader in funding, producing and synthesising high-quality evidence of what works, for whom, how, why and at what cost. We believe that using better and policy-relevant evidence helps to make development more effective and improve people’s lives.

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