What is RIDIE?
The Registry for International Development Impact Evaluations (RIDIE) is a registry of impact evaluations related to development in low and middle income countries.
RIDIE's core objective is to support overall improvements in the quality and integrity of impact evaluation evidence in low and middle income countries, and thus provide a better basis for policy decisions. It does so by enhancing the transparency and quality of evaluation research and by providing a repository of planned and ongoing impact evaluation studies.
How Does RIDIE Work?
RIDIE is intended to be a Prospective Registry in which researchers record information about their evaluation designs before conducting the analysis, and ideally, before data are collected on impacts. A prospective registry seeks to avoid several kinds of bias in research or reporting and publication that can lead to a distorted picture of which interventions work and which do not. These include post hoc data mining or specification searches, whereby researchers use the results to decide what outcomes to report or specifications to use on the basis of what is statistically significant, 'interesting,' or in accordance with preconceived ideas. Positive or interesting findings may also be more likely to get published in journals.
In a Prospective Registration, evaluation plans (including hypotheses, samples, main outcomes, etc.) are publicly stated out front, committing or at least encouraging researchers to report all the results they initially planned to obtain, the hypothesis tests they had originally proposed, and so on. The process does not prevent or discourage changes in design or focus, but helps to ensure that these changes are transparent.
Who Manages RIDIE?
RIDIE is an initiative of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). The registry and this website were created and developed for 3ie by the RAND Corporation.
How Is RIDIE Different from Other Registries in the Social Sciences?
RIDIE is different from other recent initiatives to create prospective registries, although it shares the core motivations and aims to collaborate. Key points of departure include:
- RIDIE registers all experimental and quasi-experimental studies, not just randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
- RIDIE focuses on evaluations in low and middle income countries.
- RIDIE is restricted to actual program evaluations and does not include behavioral laboratory experiments.
- RIDIE aims to include all impact evaluations meeting the above criteria, not only scholarly research destined for journal publication.
Other registries in the social sciences include the American Economics Association’s (AEA) Registry and the Experiments in Governance and Politics Network (EGAP) Registry, both of which focus on RCTs. These registries, and RIDIE, are inspired in part by registries in the medical sciences such as clinicaltrials.gov.
Who Are RIDIE's Intended Audiences?
RIDIE aims to serve several core user groups:
- Study authors, such as researchers and professional evaluators. Prospective Registration will enhance the transparency and credibility of their studies, and may also be encouraged or required by Funders and Journal Editors. RIDIE also provides a way to make public (and get credit for) innovations such in study design, testing of theory based hypotheses, and sampling approaches — well ahead of study completion. See the General FAQs Page for more information.
- Other researchers. RIDIE provides a way to learn about particular ongoing studies and the findings of unpublished or not yet published evaluations. For those contemplating new research, it can indicate where the gaps in research are with respect to topic and countries or region. Importantly, it can tell researchers what is currently happening or in development in these topics or areas, for which purpose published studies would be quite dated.
- Evaluation funders. RIDIE facilitates the monitoring of evaluations, as well as learning where gaps in research are with respect to topic and countries or region so as to inform which proposals to fund and to shape calls for proposals. Funders may also decide to make registration a condition of funding, as a means of ensuring quality and credibility of findings.
- Journal editors. RIDIE provides a way for authors to credibly document to journals their prospective registration and changes they made to their initial plans. Editors and Referees can draw on this documentation to assess the quality of submitted papers. RIDIE studies have a unique identifier that can be included in the published paper.
- Students and others. RIDIE will also benefit a spectrum of other users, including for example NGOs and development practitioners, who may not themselves be evaluators but seek to learn about a particular ongoing study, or get a sense of what is happening in their country, region, or subject area of interest.
- Policymakers, practitioners, students, and others. These groups can use RIDIE to learn about ongoing or planned studies in their thematic area, country or region. They can also search for specific studies, identify innovative programs and review what interventions work well in similar contexts and could be attempted in their own countries.
For more details on RIDIE, download the Background Document (PDF).