As necessary as conventional quantitative methods might be, the importance of adopting a mixed-methods approach in order to understand and answer complex development questions cannot be overemphasized. In this two-part blog series, 3ie Senior Research Fellow Michael Bamberger explains how an integrated mixed-methods approach goes much beyond incorporating just a few tools from both the quantitative and qualitative traditions and why that is more effective for addressing real-world problems. Bamberger offers detailed guidance on how to design, implement and utilize mixed-methods evaluations.

Read the blogs
Food Systems and Nutrition Evidence Gap Map: More studies added

We recently added 82 more studies to our living evidence gap map on food systems and nutrition. These studies from July 2021 to January 2022 already address a few gaps. We find that consumer behaviour, which was one of the least-studied intervention domain, is now the focus of much of the new research. This EGM, created in 2021, included 1,838 impact evaluations and 178 systematic reviews. As part of the first update at the end of 2021, we identified an additional 74 unique studies in the food and nutrition sector. Since research in the field is constantly expanding, we periodically screen for studies and update our map so that decision-makers, funders, and researchers easily find the evidence they need to inform their work. Read the update note and this blog highlighting its key takeaways. 

We are also using the map to conduct two rapid evidence assessments: one on women’s empowerment within food systems, and one on taxes and subsidies to promote a healthy diet. These assessments are targeted systematic reviews, which focus on a few interventions and can facilitate decision-making.
Three ways theories of change are helping evaluate a complex initiative to improve waste pickers’ lives by Stuti Tripathi, Chandan Jain, Indira Patil, Saumya Mathur
Upcoming events
3ie @ gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2022

M&E from ground up: Lessons from monitoring the Swashakt program
30 May 2022, 9:30 am-11:00 am GMT

3ie’s Swashakt program is supporting project implementation and evaluation to generate evidence around interventions that support women’s collective enterprises and enhance their viability, scalability and returns. In developing capacity and supporting monitoring systems of grassroots projects promoting women’s economic empowerment across ten states of India, 3ie and grant management partner LEAD at Krea University are learning about enabling factors and trade-offs. In this session, they share key milestones and lessons for developing and implementing an M&E framework for the measurement of complex outcomes along with implementers who are part of the Swashakt program in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel will discuss insights about building monitoring capacity inclusively and sensitively and what trade-offs may be involved in collecting data for measures of women’s agency and economic empowerment.
  • Bidisha Barooah, Lead Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
  • Morchan Karthick, Data Scientist, STREE and Swashakt, LEAD at Krea University
  • Madhu Khetan, Integrator, PRADAN
  • Tara Nair, Professor, Gujarat Institute of Development Research
Register here >>
Please note that the following French webinar will be on the production and dissemination of rapid response briefs under 3ie WACIE program’s evidence use helpdesk.

Le service d’assistance a l’utilisation des données probantes (helpdesk) du programme WACIE: production et dissémination des notes de reponses rapides
31 Mai 2022, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm GMT

En effet, en 2020 le programme WACIE en partenariat avec IDinsight a initié le service d’assistance à l’utilisation des données probantes « Helpdesk » au profit des décideurs et acteurs du développement dans les pays de l’UEMOA dans le but de favoriser l’accès et l’utilisation des données probantes issues des évaluations. L’objectif est d’appuyer les décideurs et les acteurs du développement en mettant à leur disposition et dans des formats appropriés la synthèse des données probantes sur une question spécifique. A la date d’aujourd’hui six notes de réponses rapides ont déjà été élaborées en réponse aux différentes requêtes formulées par les acteurs du développement. Le webinaire sera axé des points ci-après : (i) les déterminants de l’utilisation des données probantes par les acteurs du développement notamment les décideurs, (ii) la présentation du service d’assistance à l’utilisation des données probantes (Helpdesk), (iii) la dissémination des notes de réponses rapides élaborés par le Helpdesk.
  • Bio Bertrand Mama, Research Associate, WACIE
  • Dislène Senan Sossou, Research Associate, WACIE
Inscrivez-vous ici >>
Strengthening systems for Transparent, Reproducible, and Ethical Evidence (TREE)
3 June 2022, 1:30 pm -3:00 pm GMT

As researchers, funders, policymakers, and other actors dedicated to evidence-based decision-making, we want evaluations to produce credible and unbiased evidence which is meaningful for decision-makers. We also want our evaluations to be conducted while maintaining the highest ethical standards. This session presents the Transparent, Reproducible, and Ethical Evidence (TREE) Review Framework which aims to (i) establish ethical standards for how we design and implement evaluations; (ii) support researchers to integrate best practices in TREE into research workflow; and (iii) establish a timely, independent process that documents, monitors, and mitigates risks facing the ethical conduct of evaluations. The session will first provide the audience with an overview of the framework and tools. It will lead into a panel comprised of researchers and research funders who have pilot tested the TREE Review Framework in India and Cameroon, providing the audience with key takeaways, perspectives, and lessons learned from the field. The session will end with an invitation to the audience to participate in a guided Q&A session focused on how processes and tools such as the TREE Review Framework may strengthen their own systems for ethical conduct and oversight of evaluation.
  • Jennifer Sturdy, Senior Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
  • Bidisha Barooah, Lead Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
  • Chandan Jain, Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
  • Andrew Tangang, Research Fellow and Senior Policy Analyst, Effective Basic Services (eBase)
Register here >>
3ie @ the 14th European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference

The 14th European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 6-10 June 2022. The EES Conference 2022 aims to provide an opportunity for evaluators, commissioners and users to come together to design the contours of necessary paradigmatic shifts and identify concrete actions. In an effort to facilitate discussion, four different themes have been identified. 3ie is participating in three sessions at the conference. For more on the conference, please click here.
Evaluating in and on Conflict: Methodological Innovations for Rigorous Impact Evaluation of Peacebuilding Programming
9 June 2022, 8:30am - 10:00am CET, Room 1 (Pjerrot 140)

The evidence on which programs are effective in reducing or preventing violence and building peace is growing. However, this evidence base is not keeping pace with the growing knowledge demands of actors working in fragile, conflict-affected contexts. They are increasingly asking not only if, but under what conditions, a given program or policy is likely to achieve peace and stability. This panel will discuss the requirement for rigorous, generalizable approaches to evaluating program impacts and aggregated evidence across efforts and sectors, which until recently has been limited.
  • Jon Kurtz, Senior Director for Research and Learning, Mercy Corps
  • Rebecca Wolfe, Senior Lecturer and Executive Director of International Policy & Development, Harris School of Public Policy and Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts
  • Paul Thissen, Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
  • Neil Ferguson, Director, Research Program on Peacebuilding, International Security and Development Center
Using Process Evaluation to Strengthen Impact Evaluation
9 June 2022, 11:10am - 12:40pm CET, Room 8 (Arkad3, 24)          

Despite the awareness of the importance of understanding the implementation process, many impact evaluations must rely on only limited information on the implementation process, and much of this information may come from project documents that often have a narrow focus. This session reports on recent experiences in strengthening the analysis of the processes of project implementation and focuses on the importance of process data to strengthen understanding of how outcomes are affected by the implementation. The presentations draw on the recently completed Process Evaluation Guidelines published by 3ie, and on the experience of 3ie research projects in applying the guidelines.
  • Michael Bamberger, Senior Research Fellow, 3ie
  • Vibecke Dixon, Senior Research Fellow, 3ie
  • Bidisha Barooah, Lead Specialist and Leader, Gender and Livelihoods, 3ie
  • Anca Dumitrescu, Senior Evaluation Specialist, 3ie
Institutions and the Evidence Culture for Impact
10 June 2022, 2:00pm - 3:30pm CET, Room 8 (Arkad3, 24)

The evaluation community faces a number of challenges and opportunities related to the evidence culture in institutions. This panel proposes to examine these challenges from different angles and discuss how to address them. The panel will provide an overview of how institutional incentives influence the design of evidence systems and the use of evidence in institutions. Discussions will also touch upon the gap between research and policy in impact evaluation in terms of mindset, with a focus on accountability and learning objectives. An institution's perspective on impact evaluation will be presented, including the goal of accountability, the data collection process, and the need for actionable recommendations at the portfolio level. One of the leading national development agencies will also explain the results and challenges of its impact evaluation strategy over the past three years and how it has changed the government culture around this tool.
  • Nastassia Leszczynska, Impact Evaluation Expert, ADE
  • Tatiana Goetghebuer, Head of Impact Department, ADE
  • Jörg Faust, Director, DEVAL Institute
  • Marie Gaarder, Executive Director, 3ie
  • Ombeline De Bock, Evaluator, European Investment Bank
Feature | Call for papers on Research Transparency, Reproducibility, and Ethics: Journal of Development Effectiveness
Building on our ongoing work that focuses on ethics of social science research, we are inviting papers for a special issue of the Journal for Development Effectiveness, ‘Trends in Research Transparency, Reproducibility, and Ethics for Development Effectiveness’. We are interested in projects, programs, policies, and practices that aim to improve the transparency, reproducibility, and ethical conduct of impact evaluations and/or test whether improvements in these areas improve development effectiveness. If you have a paper that fits our criteria, please send it to us by 31 January 2023.