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Getting to the goals: what we know and don’t know about sustainable solutions for poverty eradication

On 25 September 2015, 193 UN member states signed off on a new direction for achieving sustainable development by 2030.  First among the 17 new sustainable development goals is the aim to end poverty in all its forms,and everywhere by 2030. This might seem like a tall order.  As a first and important step, countries need to take stock of effective solutions that have worked and identify areas where more work is required.

Tips on using impact evaluation to measure agency performance: applying the triple A principles

Impact evaluation has grown in popularity as governments and development agencies have come to realise that it is the best way to assess if their programmes work or not. But will these evaluations help politicians, managers and funders know if an agency as a whole is ‘working’?

Making WASH behaviour stick

Small scale trials have repeatedly demonstrated the health benefits of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. But the benefits disappear when many of these programmes are taken to scale. Large scale handwashing, sanitation and water treatment campaigns in India, Bangladesh, Peru and Vietnam have not led to a change in the behaviour of most of the people they target. So, the health impacts of these programmes are insignificant.

Using evidence to rebuild lives

International humanitarian assistance reached a record high in 2014, with global contributions totalling US$24.5 billion,almost a 19 per cent increase since 2013.However, this isn’t good news for the sector as the demand for humanitarian assistance continues to outstrip supply. Humanitarian financing is now fraught with new challenges as the nature and number of emergencies that come under the realm of humanitarian action is constantly changing.

Toward evidence-informed policies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

So, 2015 has arrived and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But shouldn’t we stop and ask how we have done on the MDGs first? “How we have done” can be seen an outcome monitoring question: have the targets been reached? But since we have fallen far short on some targets, such as access to improved sanitation, we need to dig deeper and ask which policies have been successful in helping achieve the targets.

Collaborating with communities to improve vaccine coverage: a strategy worth pursuing?

It is unfortunate but distrust of vaccines remains widespread in the world today. In August 2003, a polio vaccination boycott was declared in the five northern states of Nigeria. Political and religious leaders argued that the vaccines could be contaminated with anti-fertility agents, HIV and cancer-causing agents. It took a full year to resolve the boycott but the one year period wreaked havoc on the status of polio across the world.

Replication research promotes open discourse

The just-released International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) suite of publications reexamining the effectiveness of deworming in Kenya demonstrates the potential impact of replication research. The headline publication is a 3ie-funded replication study.

Tackling radicalisation through sports

Ten years ago, on 7 July, four suicide bombers killed 52 people in London. This included the bombing of the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square, just yards away from the building that now houses 3ie’s London Office. Today, ten years on, in the town of Dewsbury, home to the mastermind of the 7/7 bombings, cricket is being used to combat radicalisation. The NGO Chance to Shine has put together three cricket teams for getting the youth to mix with each other.

Do communities need funds or facilitation?

A group of villages in Haryana, India came together to build a much-needed bridge to reduce travel time to the nearest town. This sounds like the sort of community initiative that donors have been supporting for more than a decade with community driven development (CDD) programmes. Except it isn’t.

Trends in impact evaluation: Did we ever learn?

In 2006, the Evaluation Gap Working Group asked, “When will we ever learn?” This week, 3ie’s Drew Cameron, Anjini Mishra, and Annette Brown (hereafter CMB) have published a paper in the Journal of Development Effectiveness that uses data on more than thirty years of published impact evaluations from 3ie’s Impact Evaluation Repository (IER) to answer the question.

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Evidence Matters is 3ie’s blog. It primarily features contributions from staff and board members. Guest blogs are by invitation.

3ie publishes blogs in the form received from the authors. Any errors or omissions are the sole responsibility of the authors. Views expressed are their own and do not represent the opinions of 3ie, its board of commissioners or supporters.

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