The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)

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    What SIEF does

    The World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) supports scientifically rigorous research that measures the impact of programs and policies to improve education, health, access to quality water and sanitation, and early childhood development in low and middle income countries. The majority of the evaluations are randomized control trials (RCTs) and they were chosen through a competitive process open to researchers worldwide.
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    Funding rigorous evaluations

    SIEF has funded 79 impact evaluations in more than 30 countries, among them: Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
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    Building capacity

    A key objective of SIEF is to strengthen the ability of researchers and policymakers to use monitoring and evaluation to build evidence on the effectiveness of programs to improve people’s lives through better health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation and social protection. SIEF sponsors quarterly workshops to train regional policymakers, researchers and development field staff in the nuts and bolts of impact evaluation. The goal is to encourage and support increased use of impact evaluation and to create a community of practice among development experts and policymakers.
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    SIEF disseminates results and lessons learned to government policymakers, non-governmental organizations, development organizations and multilaterals, and universities. SIEF holds dedicated policy events to disseminate evidence and promote use of results, and employs a variety of tools, including videos, policy briefs, blogs and specialized publications, to reach a broad audience. SIEF also works directly with journalists in low-income countries to improve understanding of development issues and the importance of impact evaluation in identifying what works.



SIEF, which receives funding from the British government’s foreign aid arm DFID and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, currently supports almost 80 impact evaluations of programs in four areas critical to human development: early childhood nutrition and development, education, health, and water and sanitation. In addition, between 2007 and 2012, with funding primarily from the Government of Spain, what is now known as SIEF1, funded more than 40 evaluations of programs aimed at improving youth employment, reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, using conditional cash transfers to strengthen children’s education and health, and other key development issues. Detailed information about all the evaluations is found through the links below.


  • Seminars

    SIEF sponsors regular seminars to promote knowledge sharing around impact evaluation methods and the evidence generated from SIEF-supported studies. These seminars, which are often live-cast, provide a chance for researchers, subject experts, and World Bank operational teams to exchange information and learn from ongoing and completed impact evaluation studies. All seminars and relevant material are posted online and distributed through SIEF’s outreach materials.
  • Workshops

    SIEF sponsors quarterly workshops to train regional policymakers, researchers and development field staff in the nuts and bolts of impact evaluation. The goal is to encourage and support increased use of impact evaluation and to create a community of practice among development experts and policymakers. Workshops are invitation only and geared to specific development organizations, researchers, NGOs and government officials. Workshops use materials from the Impact Evaluation in Practice - Second Edition handbook available in English.
  • Online Courses

    SIEF teamed up with Georgetown University to develop the massive open online course (MOOC), Impact Evaluation Methods with Applications in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, currently available on the edX platform. The MOOC is available for all learners to audit for free.
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    Impact Evaluation in Practice - Second Edition

    The updated version covers the newest techniques for evaluating programs and includes state-of-the-art implementation advice, as well as an expanded set of examples and case studies that draw on recent development challenges.
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    A Toolkit for Measuring Early Childhood Development in Low and Middle-Income Countries

    The Toolkit provides a practical, “how-to” guide for selection and adaptation of child development measurements for use in low- and middle-income countries.
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    Cost Measurement

    SIEF requires all funded teams to rigorously estimate the cost of the interventions. SIEF also develops guidance documents, tools, webinars, blogs, case studies and methodological papers to aid in cost data collection and cost analysis.
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    Stallings program download and manual

    Stallings manual, which explains how to use the software, includes detailed instructions on how to properly conduct a classroom observation.
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    EGRA Toolkit

    A user manual that for countries beginning to work with EGRA in such areas as local adaptation of the instrument, fieldwork, and analysis of results.
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    Psychometrics is the branch of psychology focused on the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative assessments. Psychometric evaluations can tell you if you are using the right tools for your measurement goals.
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    Measuring the Quality of Health Care in Clinics

    This note provides a brief overview of the surveys designed to measure the quality of care within clinics, focusing in particular on the quality of examination, diagnosis, and treatment offered to patients in the primary care setting.
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    Measuring for Early Years

    Information and resources related to measuring the quality of early learning programs and early childhood skills.

This page lists a sample of publications from SIEF-supported impact evaluations. Please see individual evaluation pages for specific publications produced by SIEF research teams, including media coverage, presentations and videos. In addition, visit our Interviews and Blogs page, our Measurement page, Videos page, our Impact page and other webpages for more products related to SIEF evaluations and their impact on policy.

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    Jamaica: Evaluation Builds Evidence of the Importance of Early Childhood Interventions

    A SIEF-funded impact evaluation of a program designed to improve the cognitive development of chronically malnourished Jamaican toddlers is having global impact. From China to Bangladesh and Colombia to Madagascar, researchers are adapting the Jamaican curriculum and implementing rigorous impact evaluation studies to see how best to help poor children get the stimulation their brains need to develop.
  • Impact Evaluations

    Cambodia: Scholarship Program

    An impact evaluation, supported by SIEF, measured the effect of scholarships on enrollment in lower secondary school. The evaluation found not only that children who received the scholarship were more likely to stay in school, but also that a $45 scholarship was as effective as a $60 one.
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    Morocco: Tayssir - A conditional cash transfer program to keep rural children in school

    The parents of 80,000 students or primary school-aged children were given cash subsidies in return for keeping their children in school. The evaluation found the cash had a positive impact on enrollment and in reducing the dropout rate and the repetition rate.
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    Mozambique: Helping Kids Succeed

    Researchers worked with Save the Children to design a randomized control trial (RCT) to measure whether getting children in preschool made a difference. The evaluation found children who attended preschool were 24 percent more likely to be enrolled in primary school at the end of the two years.
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    Tanzania: Cash transfers for health and education

    In 2010, the Government of Tanzania rolled out the conditional cash transfer program. The project had a significant positive impact on children’s health and on household savings and household independence within the community.
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    Teacher Training Programs - What Works?

    There are winners and losers in teacher training programs. The researchers decided to search for impact evaluations of teacher training programs with student learning outcomes, categorize the programs by their essential characteristics, and see which (if any) of those characteristics were associated with learning gains.
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    Zambia: Improving Drug Distribution System

    The researchers tested two methods for ensuring that often remote clinics were able to maintain stocks of essential medicines. A rigorous impact evaluation found that shipping drugs directly to clinics, instead of to a holding facility, and having a dedicated staff member to facilitate and track orders reduced stock outs of drugs needed to save lives.
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    SIEF Media Coverage

    Media coverage of impact evaluations, the evidence generated and the relevance for successful development is an important route for helping promote programs and policies that made a difference.
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    Burkina Faso: Can Cash Transfers Help Children Stay Healthy and Go to School?

    The Nahouri Cash Transfers Pilot Project, a two-year program, used conditional and unconditional cash transfers to encourage poor families to send children aged 7 to 15 to school and to take children under the age of six for quarterly health monitoring.
SIEF has developed a template to help cost interventions that encourage engagement in remote learning at home.
Download the template

Evidence to Policy Series
Evidence to Policy, a monthly note series on learning what works, highlights studies that evaluate the impact of programs designed to improve.
Read more