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April 2015   Making Evidence matter
New 3ie Annual Report

The year 2014 was one of innovation and impact at 3ie. We are supporting policy-relevant impact evaluations and evidence synthesis in new thematic areas and filling critical knowledge gaps. Our studies are informing development policies and improving programmes. As a global leader in funding the production of high-quality evidence, we continued to support rigorous impact evaluations and full systematic reviews. Responding to demand, we expanded our capacity to produce evidence gap maps and rapid evidence reviews. Read highlights of ourwork and achievements.

Current funding opportunities

Thematic Window 10, breaking through stagnation: testing innovations in engaging communities in increasing immunisation coverage
We invite proposals for evaluation of programmes of that have adopted innovative approaches to community engagement for increasing immunisation coverage in Gavi-eligible countries. Deadline for applications: 23:59 GMT, 10 July. Read more

Systematic Reviews Call 8
We invite proposals for systematic reviews that explore the impact of development interventions in the areas of sanitation and hygiene, humanitarian assistance and climate change. Deadline for applications: 12 noon GMT, 22 May.

Replication Window 3: internal replications of impact evaluations of HIV prevention interventions
We invite expressions of interest from researchers to conduct internal replications of influential, innovative or controversial impact evaluations of biomedical, behavioural, social and structural determinants of HIV prevention interventions. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis. Deadline for applications: 23:59 GMT, 31 May. Read more

Funding opportunities coming soon

Policy Window Philippines, peace and development programmes: Please sign up here to receive the request for qualifications.

Policy Window 3, programmes implemented by the Ministry of Education, Government of Rwanda: Please sign up here to receive the request for qualifications.

New grant awards and bursaries

Policy Window 3, community-based health initiatives in Bihar
We have awarded two grants for the impact evaluation of Gram Varta, a community mobilisation initiative, and the impact of the nodal Anganwadi centres in Bihar to the University of Göttingen and the Institute for Human Development respectively. Read more

Policy Window 3, girls’ education in Benin
We have awarded a proposal preparation grant to the African School of Economics to design an impact evaluation of a girls’ education programme implemented by the Government of Benin.

Policy Window Philippines, programmes on social welfare and development
We have awarded a proposal preparation grant to the Philippine Institute of Development Studies to design an impact evaluation of a programme implemented by the Department of Social Welfare Development, Government of Philippines. Read more

Bursary awards
Since January 2015, we have awarded a total of 19 bursaries to applicants from Africa, the Middle East and Latin American and Caribbean region. In February, ten bursaries were awarded to applicants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region attending the 3ie-American University in Cairo workshop on systematic reviews and the MENA evaluation conference in Cairo. Bursary recipients from Egypt (1), Jordan (3), Morocco (2), Lebanon (1), Sudan (1) and Tunisia (2) represented non-profit organisations and government agencies.

Applicants nominated by 3ie’s members in Africa were awarded bursaries to attend the Uganda Evaluation Week on 10-14 March in Kampala. The recipients, from Benin (2), Burkina Faso (1), Senegal (2) and South Africa (2) largely represented government agencies involved in monitoring and policy planning.

We supported two applicants attending the 2015 Year of Evaluation Regional Conference in Lima, Peru, on 11-13 March. The Mexican National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) nominated one of the Mexican participants and 3ie selected a presenter from Argentina through a competitive process.

Successful policy engagement

Using data to inform investment climate reform in Malawi
The Government of Malawi, while implementing investment climate reforms, particularly, the new Business Registration Act, was interested in knowing more about the characteristics of informal firms to decide on a turnover threshold, above which registration for firms could be mandatory. However, the government had little information about the distribution of turnover (size) of firms. In an ongoing study by Innovations for Poverty Action, researchers had collected these data as part of their baseline listing over 7,250 enterprises in Malawi. At the government’s request, the team provided summary statistics and helped inform discussions on setting the turnover threshold for firm registration. Read more about the study

Strengthening programme implementation with timely inputs in Zimbabwe
The Government of Zimbabwe’s harmonised social cash transfer (HSCT) programme is targeted towards ultra-poor households with labour constraints or high-dependency ratios. These are typically AIDS-affected households, with orphans and vulnerable children or with caregivers that are HIV-positive. Researchers from the University of North Carolina are trying to investigate the economic impact of the HSCT on both target households and the local community. An initial report from the study pointed to implementation issues on the ground stemming from lack of coordination between development programmes implemented by different ministries, especially the Basic Education Assistance Module of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor and Social Services. In order to resolve the issue and facilitate a more coordinated implementation approach, the government is considering an MoU between the two ministries. The government is invested in the research project, and the government–researcher collaboration will be put forth as a partnership model in a forthcoming book on transfer project evaluations published by Oxford University Press. HSCT will be featured with its own chapter to be co-authored by government counterparts and the evaluation team. Read more about the study

3ie Washington Evidence Week
We held the 3ie Washington Evidence Week 13-17 April. Events during the week comprised the annual 3ie Howard White Lecture on Evaluation and politics: tips and barriers to use by Dr Deborah L Rugg, director, Inspection and Evaluation Division, United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services. A day-long session on the future of impact evaluation for international development co-hosted with William and Flora Hewlett Foundation on 16 April brought together development leaders to discuss impact evaluations and ways to improve policies and programmes. We also organised a session at the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund spring meetings on 17 April on Why focus on results when no one uses them? which centred on producing and using evaluations and putting countries on pathways to evidence-based decision making. All events were well attended and informative. We will soon upload the presentations and videos from the event here.
Publication from 3ie-funded research
A new paper, The Han–minority achievement gap, language, and returns to schools in rural China, based on a 3ie-funded study on paying for performance in China’s battle against anaemia was published in Economic Development and Cultural Change journal.
New 3ie systematic review

Systematic Review 11, Why targeting matters: a systematic review of farmer field schools targeting: This review by Daniel Phillips, Hugh Waddington and Howard White looks at targeting in farmer field school (FFS) programmes. It covers how these programmes are targeted, whether targeting is successful (did programmes reach their intended beneficiaries) and how targeting affects outcomes of interest. Programmes emphasising effectiveness were found to have greater impact on yields and did better on adoption of practices. At the same time, studies also showed poorer farmers benefitted more when they participated directly in FFS programmes than when they received knowledge indirectly.Read more
New 3ie impact evaluation reports
3ie Impact Evaluation Report 18, Impact of malaria control and enhanced literacy instruction on educational outcomes among school children in Kenya: a multi-sectoral, prospective, randomised evaluation: This study evaluated the single and joint impact of school-based malaria prevention and enhanced literacy instruction on health and educational achievement of school children in Kenya. No impact of the malaria intermittent screening and treatment intervention was observed for prevalence of anaemia or P. falciparum (a parasite that causes malaria) or on sustained attention in the classroom. In contrast, the literacy intervention had a significant impact on literacy outcomes, specifically knowledge of Swahili sounds, words and English spelling. Read more

3ie Impact Evaluation Report 21, Shelter from the storm: upgrading housing infrastructure in Latin American slums: This study evaluated the impact of providing inexpensive pre-fabricated houses to families living in slums tenements in Mexico, El Salvador and Uruguay. The findings showed that the intervention led to substantial increases in beneficiary satisfaction and quality of life. There was also a significant reduction in incidences of diarrhoea among children in Mexico and El Salvador. Besides this, beneficiaries in El Salvador also felt the houses increased their sense of security. The study also showed that the urban poor are willing to trade off housing conditions for better access to labour markets and hence, higher earnings. Read more

3ie Impact Evaluation Report 22, A wide angle view of learning: evaluation of the CCE and LEP programmes in Haryana, India: This study evaluated the impact of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) scheme and the Learning Enhancement Programme (LEP) designed to improve student learning in primary and upper primary schools in the Indian state of Haryana. While CCE aims to provide teachers and students with broad-based and frequent feedback on performance, LEP offers tools and allocates time within the school day to enable teachers to focus their teaching at each child’s competency level. The study finds that LEP has a large positive impact on students’ basic Hindi language skills, indicating that programmes focused on teaching at the appropriate level can play a role in improving poor learning outcomes. Read more

3ie Impact Evaluation Report 23, Enhancing food production and food security through improved inputs: an evaluation of Tanzania’s National Agricultural Input Voucher Scheme with a focus on gender impacts: Findings from this study highlighted the disenfranchised position of female‐headed households relative to their male counterparts. The evaluation also found that food insecurity and reduced dietary diversity were common among female-headed households. Results from the qualitative study confirmed and contextualised these findings, showing that although female farmers felt the programme could help boost yields, many could not afford the top-up payment. As a result they did not participate. Read more

3ie Impact Evaluation Report 25, Assessing the impact of farmer field schools on fertiliser use in China: In China, a major agricultural challenge is the inefficient use of fertiliser and environmental effects associated with it. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture is trying to address this problem by instituting farmer field school (FFS) programmes. This study evaluates the effectiveness of FFS training in reducing fertiliser use for rice and tomato crops in Anhui and Hebei provinces. Findings show that the FFS programme improved the optimal use of fertiliser for rice farmers but had insignificant effects for tomato growers. Read more
Useful resources

Resources on peacebuilding interventions: We have launched a scoping paper that reviews the supply of and demand for evidence from impact evaluations and systematic reviews on peacebuilding interventions. We produced an evidence gap map that provides access to the best available evidence on the outcomes of peacebuilding interventions in conflict-affected settings in low- and middle-income countries. The evidence gap map report explains the scope and methods and analyses the information in the map.

New feature on 3ie evidence gap map - platform population characteristics: We have added a new filter to the interactive evidence gap map platform that allows users to filter evidence by population characteristics. For example, in the evidence gap map of productive safety net programmes, users can now see which of the studies included in the evidence gap map evaluate intervention effects for people living on less than US$1.25 a day, people living below a national poverty line or people defined as food insecure. This feature will allow users to identify evidence that can help inform effective targeting of interventions in ways that achieve the greatest benefit for intended beneficiaries. It also enables identification of evidence gaps in our knowledge of what works best for whom.

Webinar on the 3ie evidence gap map on global productive safety net programmes: Martina Vojtkova, 3ie evaluation specialist, presented this recently-launched USAID-funded evidence gap map using a webinar. Watch recording.

Videos: We have uploaded presentations from our Delhi seminar series -- How synthesised evidence can improve the effectiveness of sanitation, microcredit and employment guarantee programmes by Hugh Waddington, 3ie senior evaluation specialist; Emerging challenges in managing equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluations by Marco Segone, director of evaluations, UN Women and Howard White, co-chair, Campbell Collaboration Improving agricultural technology adoption: policy lessons from the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative by Ben Jaques-Leslie, programme manager, agriculture, J-PAL Global; Intergenerational transmission of attitudes towards gender equality: evidence from India by Prof Tarun Jain, Indian School of Business.

New blog posts

Check out our latest blogs: On target? Why participant selection matters for development programmes; MDG for water: is the job done?; Reversing the resource curse through impact evaluations; Not all ‘systematic’ reviews are created equal; Understanding what’s what: the importance of sector knowledge in causal chain analysis; What’s wrong with evidence-informed development? Part 2. Visit the blog site to view all of our posts.

3ie in the news
Why do sanitation campaigns fail? (20 February) A 3ie-funded study on impact evaluation of the Total Sanitation programme in Odisha, India, was cited in an article in the Mint.

Evidence matters to policymaking (19 February) Op-ed by Radhika Menon, 3ie senior policy and advocacy officer and Howard White, co-chair, Campbell Collaboration, was published in The Hindu.

Gap maps show the holes in development evidence (10 February) The 3ie evidence gap maps were featured on SciDev.Net. Birte Snilstveit, 3ie evaluation specialist, was interviewed on the SciDev.Net podcast Tapping into Data (1 March).
Jobs at 3ie
Deputy Director- Synthesis and Reviews, London: Deadline for applications: 27 April. Read Terms of Reference (TOR)

Policy Advocacy and Communication Project Assistant, New Delhi: Deadline for applications: 27 April. Read TOR
Other announcements
Expressions of interest: Research on safe abortion services for women and girls affected by humanitarian crises in Bangladesh and Pakistan, International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Regional Office, deadline: 27 April

Call for papers: Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network conference on Transformation of developing and emerging economies: challenges and opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth, deadline: 29 May

Call for papers: IDEAS Global Assembly 2015 on Evaluating sustainable development, deadline: 15 May 2015

Partnership for Economic Policy annual conference on Inclusive growth and employment for poverty reduction, 29 April-8 May, Nairobi

Association of Commonwealth Universities and the South African Research & Innovation Management Association conference on Research and innovation for global challenges, 10-14 May, Johannesburg

Job opportunity: Chief Measurement and Impact Evaluation Officer, Global Fund to End Slavery, Washington, DC

Job opportunity: Reviewers, Global Innovation Fund, London

Job opportunity: Chief Executive officer, Campbell Collaboration, Oslo
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3ie is an international grant-making NGO promoting evidence-informed development policies and programmes. We are the global leader in funding and producing high-quality evidence of what works, how, why and at what cost. We believe that better and policy-relevant evidence will make development more effective and improve people’s lives.
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