Dear colleague,

A very happy and healthy 2023.

Let me begin by asking – do you remember what you were like at 15? I’m sure it was a challenging time, but perhaps, it was also a time when the world seemed full of opportunities. Maybe some of you were starting to set goals for your future or were experiencing rapid growth. I asked this question because as 3ie turns 15, we are eager to take stock of what we have learned to date and at the same time, run full speed ahead.    

What pleases us most is what we have achieved while remaining faithful to our core principles and commitment to improving the evidence ecosystem. It would not be an overstatement to say that you – the users and supporters of evidence – have played a crucial role in this incredible journey. We value our relationship with you and remain eager to do more and better to deliver evidence where it is most needed.

That the evidence we deliver across thematic and geographical locations is recognized and used by decision-makers to influence future policy is what drives us. Pushing the frontiers of evidence to improve the lives of people remains our priority and we continue to work closely with those who are equally passionate about it.

So, in the months ahead, we plan to reflect on some successes, share a few lessons and engage with you both online and offline. Starting with an event on a critical topic: institutionalizing the use of evidence. We are joining forces with our long-standing partners – the Centre for Global Development – and other leading global institutions to talk about the barriers and incentives to institutionalizing the use of evidence. We will share more information about this event, and other initiatives in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Marie Gaarder, Executive Director, 3ie
International Day of Education

Investing in education and lifelong learning is essential for breaking the cycle of poverty. To contribute to the progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4, we have produced accessible and actionable evidence on various interventions aimed at improving outcomes related to student learning, teacher performance, and effective education systems. The findings from our evaluations and syntheses have informed several real-world decisions and we take this opportunity to recall some of those here.

In West Africa, Benin has joined a long history of governments around the world that have expanded access to vocational and technical education. One of our latest pieces of rapid evidence examines key research on programming related to the national government's strategy on expanding vocational education. In this rapid response brief, we summarize key points from the rigorous research.

In South Africa, evidence has helped steer policy discussion at the highest level of government after a study in which 3ie worked with South Africa's Department of Basic Education and its Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. It evaluated and compared several approaches to improving students' reading abilities in the early grades. Read this evidence-impact blog to know how it enabled USAID to reconfigure its education programming in the country.

Findings from our systematic review that included evidence covering more than 16 million children participating in 216 education programs in 52 low- and middle-income countries have informed the policies of international development institutions, including USAID, the World Bank and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Read this blog to understand how the findings have resonated in high-level policy circles worldwide.

For more such stories of impact, visit our evidence impact summaries portal.
New food systems evaluations focus on the big picture
This January we launched our fourth update to the living evidence gap map (EGM) on food systems and nutrition. As we continue to screen and add high-quality evidence that will help policymakers make informed decisions, we see a curious shift in the evidence base. Of the 72 new studies we added to the EGM in this round, as many as 24 per cent evaluate interventions at the national or transnational scale. This is a remarkable increase over the original map in which only 9 per cent studies did so.  

Read our latest blog in which we share key findings and explain how the evidence base is changing and the gaps that still remain.

Read the full update note here | View the interactive map on our EGM platform here.
3ie and ISDC lead evaluation of UN Peacebuilding Fund projects in Darfur

As part of the PeaceFIELD initiative, 3ie staff are in Sudan to build capacity, evaluate interventions, and improve evidence-informed decision-making in the peacebuilding field. For this project, which is run jointly with the International Security and Development Center (ISDC), the team is working closely with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). In late January, the team met with diplomatic missions in Khartoum to discuss the ongoing impact evaluation of PBF interventions in Darfur, among other initiatives. In December last year, IOM Sudan and 3ie conducted a first round of training in Nyala, South Darfur on data collection and impact evaluation for peacebuilding to strengthen capacity and encourage evidence-based policymaking. The team will return to Nyala in February for a second round of training. Supported by Global Affairs Canada and the German Federal Foreign Office, this work is part of the first set of rigorous impact evaluations of the PBF projects. See tweet from UN Sudan.

Rapid response brief | What is the effect of water source improvement interventions on waterborne disease and malnutrition?

Rapid response brief | Do access to latrines and other WASH interventions reduce child malnutrition?

Working paper | Learning from collective-led sanitation enterprises in urban Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana

State-wise briefs | Learning from collective-led sanitation enterprises in two cities of Odisha, Tamil Nadu & Telangana

Working paper brief | Rapid evidence assessment of teachers’ training programs in low-and middle-income countries

EGM summary report | Evidence on strengthening civil society interventions in L&MICs

EGM practitioner brief | Strengthening civil society in “closed spaces”

EGM practitioner brief | Developing groups for participatory decision-making

EGM practitioner brief | Monitoring public and private institutions via civil society

Past event

Effective interventions to increase routine childhood immunization in L&MICs
12 January 2023

In this webinar, 3ie's Monica Jain presented findings from the Review of Reviews that synthesizes the best available evidence on effective interventions for improving routine child immunization outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). Increasing routine childhood immunization in L&MICs has been an urgent challenge, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty five million children missed out on essential vaccines in 2021, with childhood immunization falling for the second consecutive year. Read the presentation here and click here to view the recording.

Join our growing and dynamic team by applying for one of these unique and impactful roles.
Call for papers | Trends in Research Transparency, Reproducibility, and Ethics for Development Effectiveness
We are currently inviting papers for a special issue of the Journal of Development Effectiveness focusing on ‘Trends in Research Transparency, Reproducibility, and Ethics for Development Effectiveness’. Read more about the criteria and submit your paper by 31 March 2023.