3ie News | December 2018


Evidence • Action • Impact>

Evidence uptake and use from 3ie-funded studies

3ie-supported impact evaluation of a malnutrition programme in Sudan improves programme design

Acute malnutrition is considered among the most serious but least addressed health problems in Sudan. Researchers from Valid International assessed the effectiveness of a World Food Programme (WFP) food-based intervention to prevent moderate acute malnutrition in addition to a targeted supplementary feeding programme. Findings show that adding a prevention component to treatment programmes had no effect on prevalence or incidence of acute malnutrition in children under the age of five, and among pregnant or lactating women. However, there was a significant reduction in the prevalence of children at risk of malnutrition where the food-based prevention intervention was added to the targeted supplementary feeding programme.

WFP and the Sudanese Ministry of Health have used the findings to change their training module to improve programme coverage and case finding of children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition. WFP has also identified community members who are effective in increasing programme awareness. The findings on social and behaviour change communication have helped make a case for increased funding and for the use of mass media to increase programme coverage and develop appropriate messages.

New funding

Call for proposals to conduct qualitative evaluations on the impact of self-help groups on women’s empowerment in India

3ie is inviting organisations or consortia to submit proposals to conduct two qualitative evaluations under specific research themes on women’s self-help groups in rural India. These studies are expected to inform a large-scale, rigorous impact evaluation of the India’s National Rural Livelihoods Mission programme that 3ie is currently undertaking. Read the request for proposals here.

Coming soon: CEDIL call for applications for research protects and innovative impact evaluations

The Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning will issue a request for applications for research projects and innovative impact evaluations that contribute to their strategic research agenda in early February 2019. Read the pre-announcement here.

New 3ie publications

Impact evaluation reports: Community based distribution of oral HIV self-testing kits: experimental evidence from Zambia, Direct provision versus facility collection of HIV tests: impacts of self-testing among female sex workers in Uganda, Evaluating the economic impacts of rural banking: experimental evidence from southern India, Impact evaluation of the Philippine Special Programme for Employment of Students, Impacts of community delivery of antiretroviral drugs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Increasing female sex worker HIV testing: effects of peer educators and HIV self-tests in Zambia and Nourishing the future: targeting infants and their caregivers to reduce undernutrition in rural China       

Impact evaluation briefs: Impacts of community delivery of antiretroviral drugs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Investigating the feasibility of HIV self-testing in Zambia and What works to increase HIV testing for female sex workers in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia

Replication papers: Thou shalt be given... but how? A replication study of a randomised experiment on food assistance in northern Ecuador and Savings revisited: a replication study of a savings intervention in Malawi

3ie-funded research in peer-reviewed publications
Please click here to access the list of all the 3ie-funded studies and 3ie-produced publications appearing in peer-reviewed publications.
Celebrating 10 years: evidence, action and impact

We have spent more than a decade supporting and producing high-quality and useful evidence for informing decision-making. Approximately 50 per cent of this evidence has already had some type of impact on policies and programmes. That level of evidence impact is impressive.

Over the past year, we have celebrated our anniversary through a series of well-attended, highly interactive events. We had a chance to look back at our contributions to the evidence base and other accomplishments. We heard from our donors, members, partners and peers from the evaluation and wider evidence-informed decision-making community about the challenges that lie ahead. We celebrated our partnerships. From a record-breaking turnout (more than 200 participants) at our Delhi Evidence Week to hosting our biggest (180 people) and best ever London Evidence Week, we facilitated knowledge sharing, discussions and debates, forged new relationships and had the opportunity to thank our founding and continuing main supporters, DFID, Gates and Hewlett, without whom we would not be where we are. We shared our evidence impact stories, which were very well-received and piqued the curiosity of supporters, old and new. We identified persistent and new challenges through a series of panels on social protection, education and the learning crisis and many more. Watch highlights of the Delhi and London events and 3ie’s videos here.

Fifth Howard White Lecture: Institutionalising evaluations at the national level: the power of storytelling

Gonzalo Hernández Licona, CONEVAL executive secretary and former 3ie board commissioner, presented challenges to setting up national monitoring and evaluation units and how evaluators have to work within political systems to create impact. Drawing on his long experience explaining evaluation and evidence to policymakers, he stressed that evidence needs to be narrated as a story that is accessible and easily understood. People respond to stories with which they can identify.  Without a story, evidence often does not have much impact on decision makers.  He discussed the idea of institutionalising the everyday use of evidence in a systematic way. He also spoke about his own experiences setting up CONEVAL and being part of 3ie, and his efforts at explaining the technicalities of evaluation to people in politics. Watch the lecture here.

3ie blogs

Innovating to learn: Emmanuel Jimenez, Elizabeth King (Brookings Institution and 3ie board commissioner) and Ju-Ho Lee (KDI School of Public Policy and Management and 3ie board commissioner) make a case for investing in a learner-centred innovation system to improve learning outcomes in low-and middle-income countries. They discuss how common components (e.g. people, infrastructure, economic resources and an enabling environment) that need to be in place to nurture innovation in education do not measure up. They argue that education systems should embrace new technologies and turn them into effective tools for teaching and learning.

Misdiagnosis and the evidence trap: a tale of inadequate programme design: Marie Gaarder and Vibecke Dixon (Think Global Inc.) talk about the importance of correctly diagnosing the causes of development problems to ensure effective programme design, and in turn, useful evaluation evidence on what works and what does not. The authors call on members of the development and evaluation community to share their experiences in evaluating interventions informed or not informed by diagnostic work.

Measuring open defecation behaviour in India: Anmol Narain discusses the challenges in accurately measuring defecation behaviour in the Indian context. While India uses a range of surveys to measure sanitation coverage and uptake, lessons from ongoing studies under the 3ie promoting latrine use evidence programme are useful in understanding the key barriers to measuring these indicators reliably. She also highlights a new resource, 3ie’s compilation of latrine use questions, a living document that collates research questions to aid researchers in designing survey instruments.

Bringing research down to earth: On a recent visit to Malawi, Mark Englebert had the opportunity to observe how researchers conducting a 3ie-supported study on integrated soil fertility management have been sharing soil data and recommendations with farmers. They are responding to a demand for data from beneficiary farmers who want to make evidence-informed decisions to improve their soil quality and productivity. This raises important questions about whether it would have been ethically irresponsible to refrain from sharing data with beneficiaries. He recommends that researchers should be on the lookout for direct routes for research to benefit those who participate.

What’s the deal with push button replications?: The ongoing credibility crises in the field of psychology has triggered a huge discussion on the reliability and replicability of published research. Sayak Khatua explains the concept of push button replications and how they help researchers, policymakers and donors verify and use evidence for decision-making.

3ie @ recent events

Global Evidence and Implementation Summit 2018, Melbourne, 22-24 October

Emmanuel Jimenez and Neeta Goel participated in various panel discussions at the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit 2018. They led discussions on the value of national evaluation ecosystems, the impact of community driven-development programmes, and shared lessons learned from open data initiatives and research transparency. Hannah Chirgwin presented a recently published update of 3ie’s WASH evidence gap map. She highlighted the growing body of evidence that exists in the sector, how the patterns in research have shifted over the last ten years, and where we still need new primary impact evaluations and synthesis work. Naomi Rutenberg (Mann Global Health) presented a new working paper, co-authored with Anna Heard, on integrating impact evaluation and implementation research to accelerate evidence-informed action.

KDI School-3ie conference 2018, Seoul, 22-23 November

Emmanuel Jimenez delivered the keynote speech at a conference on impact evaluation in development research, jointly organised by 3ie and KDI School of Public Policy and Management .Participants included researchers from Korea Institute of Public Finance, universities across the globe and graduate students from major Korean universities. Papers presented highlighted rigorous evaluations on population dynamics, social capital and human development.

3ie- Sehgal Foundation dialogue, New Delhi, 4 December

This joint-event was as a platform for over 110 policymakers, including government representatives, researchers and students to discuss transparency, open data and ethical values and issues related to development research. We organised interactive sessions on transparency and open access in research, ethics in the research life cycle and the state of open data in India. Read highlights of the event here.

Job opportunities at 3ie

Consultant, Implementation research in nutrition, New Delhi

Senior evaluation specialist, Washington DC

Programme manager, Washington DC

Operations associate, Washington DC

3ieNews is a bi-monthly newsletter of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). We promote evidence-informed equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. We support the generation and effective use of high-quality evidence to inform decision-making and improve the lives of people living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries. We provide guidance and support to produce, synthesise and assure the quality of evidence of what works, for whom, how, why and at what cost.

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