Journal of Development Effectiveness

The Journal of Development Effectiveness publishes papers reporting evidence of impact of development interventions.

The journal does not subscribe to any one approach to impact evaluation, but requires that the techniques employed be rigorously applied, with a preference for studies which have been well contextualized with an appropriate use of mixed methods.

It also publishes papers of a more conceptual nature related to impact evaluation, as well as papers covering practical aspects of conducting impact studies. The journal has an explicit policy of ‘learning from our mistakes’, discouraging publication bias in favour of positive results – papers reporting interventions with no, or a negative, impact are welcome.

We are inviting nominations for JDEFF’s next Editor-in-Chief. Read the call for nominations.
Last date to send nominations: 30 January 2023

Call for papers | Trends in Research Transparency, Reproducibility, and Ethics for Development Effectiveness


  1. The Journal does not favor any one methodology. However, publications that rely on research findings must demonstrate rigorous evaluation techniques that address biases robustly.
  2. The Journal publishes evidence of the impact of projects, programs, and policies in developing countries, and discussions of experience in conducting impact evaluations and using their findings to inform policy and program design. For this Special Issue, the focus is on projects, programs, and policies that aim to improve the transparency, reproducibility, and ethical conduct of such impact evaluations and/or test whether improvements in these areas improve development effectiveness.
  3. The Journal also publishes papers of a more conceptual nature related to impact evaluation principles and practices, as well as papers covering practical aspects of conducting impact evaluations. For this Special Issue, the focus is on principles and practices related to incorporating, or not, transparency, reproducibility, and ethics into impact evaluations. Any publications focused on more conceptual nature, including reviews and commentary, should be grounded in data and/or a thorough literature review.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023

Guest Editors:

  • Dr Chandan Jain, 3ie
  • Dr Alexandra Avdeenko, Senior Lecturer, University of Heidelberg and Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice team, World Bank
  • Soazic Elise Wang Sonne, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice of the World Bank Group

Submission guidance and instructions for authors.

This special issue will contribute to understanding how principles and practices in research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics affect international development effectiveness. Themes include but are not limited to:

  1. Are there ethical standards that unite researchers, research funders, decision-makers? How do these actors define and/or operationalize ethical standards across contexts (discipline, region, topic)? How can ethical standards from other disciplines inform ethical standards for impact evaluation for development effectiveness?   
  2. How do institutions define and/or operationalize transparency, reproducibility, and ethics in terms of principles and practices? How do institutions instill knowledge of principles and/or practices in research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics? What strategies are effective across settings?
  3. What constraints face researchers to adhere to principles and practices for research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics? Do research funders and researchers have a shared understanding of the costs of conducting ethical research?
  4. What are the systems for accountability for alignment with principles and practices in research transparency, reproducibility, and ethical conduct (e.g., Institutional Review Boards)? How can these systems be improved? 
  5. How do research participants’ views and experiences inform principles and practices for research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics?
  1. Is there a ‘credibility crisis’ in international development economics?
  2. Does the establishment of principles and practices for research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics within institutions or research teams affect the credibility of evidence? Is there evidence of changes in selective reporting, publication bias, failures to replicate, etc.? Is there evidence of improvements in meta-analysis, evidence synthesis literature?  
  3. How do research transparency, reproducibility, and ethics practices (e.g., pre-analysis plans, data sharing) affect the perceived credibility of evidence among evidence funders and/or consumers? Are evidence funders and/or consumers willing to pay more for more credible evidence? Does more transparent, reproducible, and ethical evidence result in more evidence use?
  4. How does research participant engagement in study design and dissemination affect credibility of evidence? Are there community engagement practices that improve credibility of evidence?
  1. For research participants and/or bystanders? This can include testing or empirically examining protocols for data collection during COVID-19, informed consent process, participant payments, ancillary care, community engagement and participant feedback loops. How does engagement with research participants and/or bystanders improve ethical conduct of research? How does ethical conduct of research improve development effectiveness?
  2. For field staff? This can include testing or empirically examining protocols for data collection during COVID-19, health and safety measures, fair wages. How does engagement with field staff improve ethical conduct of research? How does ethical conduct of research improve development effectiveness?
  1. What are the trade-offs in terms of accessibility vs. quality and credibility given increase in preprints and other open-source research with limited peer review?
  2. How are researchers responding to increased scrutiny and calls for transparency, reproducibility, and ethics? Are researchers more hesitant to take on meaningful but risky research?


Emmanuel Jimenez, an economist, is Senior Fellow (and former Executive Director from 2015-2020) of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and editor of the Journal of Development Effectiveness. Previously, he served in a number of research and operational positions at the World Bank Group for 30 years, including as director of the Bank’s programs in human development in its Asia regions (2000-2012) and director of public sector evaluations for its Independent Evaluation Group (2012-2014). Before joining the Bank, he taught at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University and has published extensively in economic development.

Marie Gaarder is the executive director of 3ie, leading the organization’s efforts to improve lives in low- and middle-income countries by supporting the generation and effective use of high-quality and relevant evidence to inform decision-making. Marie has over 20 years of experience managing operational and research projects with a development focus. In her previous role in 3ie, as director for evaluation and global director for innovation and country engagement, Marie provided strategic direction and guidance to 3ie’s work in evaluation and synthesis. Prior to joining 3ie, she was a manager in the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group, overseeing thematic, sector, corporate and project evaluations. She has also worked as the director of the evaluation department at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, where she was in charge of independent evaluation of programs and activities financed over the Norwegian aid budget. Prior positions include being the deputy executive director of 3ie during the institution’s start-up years, and a senior social development economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, specializing in social protection and health programs in Central America. Marie has published extensively, including on the evaluation of cash transfer programs, evaluation in fragile and conflict-affected states, and how to increase the accountability for evidence use and for outcomes among development agencies and governments. A list of publications and reports is available below.

Elizabeth M. King is a Non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution, Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Effectiveness, and Adjunct Professor of Georgetown University’s Graduate School of International Studies. She’s also on the board of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), Room to Read, and Education Commission-Asia; technical adviser to Echidna Giving, the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab, and the Office of Population Studies (Philippines); and member of the judging panel of the Yidan Prize Foundation. She was the World Bank's senior spokesperson and professional head for global policy and strategic issues related to education and human development, and acting vice-president for human development sectors. She has published journal articles, book chapters and books on topics related to human capital, labor market outcomes, the care economy, and gender issues in development. She engaged in operations and advisory work on economic and education issues in several developing countries She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.

Peter Orazem has been on the faculty at Iowa State University since 1982 and currently serves as University Professor of Economics and Director of the Program for the Study of Midwest Markets and Entrepreneurship. He is a 1977 graduate in economics at the University of Kansas and received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1983. He is a past member of the Ames City Council, the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Ames Economic Development Commission. In 2018, he served as a Fulbright Fellow at the Univerza na Primorskem in Slovenia. His research deals with labor markets in the United States and in developing countries with a particular interest in human capital, regional economic development, and entrepreneurship. He is coauthor of chapters in the Handbook of Development Economics and the Handbook of Agricultural Economics. He served as a member of the core team for the World Bank’s 2007 World Development Report and wrote papers for the 2008, 2012 and post2015 editions of the Copenhagen Consensus. He is coeditor of a book, Child Labor and Education in Latin America published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009. His research has appeared in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Finance, the International Economic Review, and numerous other outlets.

Hugh Sharma Waddington is Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and London International Development Centre. He specializes in policy-relevant impact evaluation and evidence synthesis on topics like water, sanitation and hygiene, governance, cash transfers and smallholder agriculture, and has an interest in supporting capacity sharing in international development. He set up 3ie's Systematic Reviews Program and London Office and before that was employed at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of the Government of Rwanda, the World Bank, the UK National Audit Office, and the Poverty Research Unit at Sussex University. He holds advanced degrees in development economics and environmental health.

If you have any questions please do reach out to the production manager, Audrey Portes, aportes(at)