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Rigorous Impact Evaluation - Funding Programme

Rigorous impact evaluations (RIEs) measure the causal effect of an intervention (e.g. a microcredit programme) on an outcome of interest (e.g. household income). The RIE funding programme is intended to anchor RIE more firmly in and thus increase the effectiveness of German development cooperation. The funding programme financially supports approximately nine RIEs with up to 365,000 euros each during 2023 to 2025. Eligible for funding are RIEs that evaluate interventions in German development cooperation funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

What are Rigorous Impact Evaluations?

Rigorose Wirkungsevaluierungen nutzen Evaluierungsdesigns, die den kausalen Effekt einer Maßnahme (z.B. ein Mikrokredit-Programm) auf eine Zielgröße (z.B. Haushaltseinkommen) messen. Hierfür wird durch experimentelle oder quasi-experimentelle Verfahren eine Kontroll- oder Vergleichsgruppe geschaffen, die der Gruppe, die die Maßnahme erhalten hat, so ähnlich wie möglich ist.

Durch RIE können Organisationen der deutschen EZ...

... zeigen, dass ein Projekt nachweisbar wirkt.

... herausfinden, welche Maßnahmen am wirkungsvollsten sind.

... planen, wie das Projekt zukünftig noch wirkungsvoller umgesetzt werden kann.

... entscheiden, welche Projekte fortgesetzt und skaliert werden sollten.



There are several hurdles to implementing RIEs, including the associated costs, lack of awareness of their benefits and a lack of skills to implement them. This is where the funding programme comes in by providing financial support, consulting and networking opportunities.

The programme identifies projects that are suitable for RIE. It promotes knowledge exchange between science and development cooperation practitioners by using matchmaking between German development cooperation projects and interested German scientific institutions.

The funding programme helps to anchor RIE more firmly in German development cooperation.


The funding programme timeline is divided into the following phases:

In Phase 1, development cooperation projects are identified which are suitable for RIE and especially for the funding programme.

In Phase 2, DEval conducts matchmaking between development cooperation projects and scientific institutions. The responsible scientists then work with the identified development cooperation projects to develop RIE research projects.

Subsequently, in Phase 3, the scientists can apply to DEval for funding. This application requires a letter of support from the development organisation implementing the project.

In Phase 4, a selection committee evaluates the funding applications and decides how to allocate the funding.

RIE research projects are implemented in Phase 5, which lasts approximately 2.5 years, ending in the autumn of 2025.

Finally, in Phase 6, the success of the RIE funding programme is evaluated. For this purpose, learning experiences during the implementation of the funding programme are processed.

Further information

RIE Website

The RIE website offers information and materials about rigorous impact evaluation. In addition to explanations and definitions, the website also provides all the relevant information regarding the RIE funding programme. This includes guidance on how academic institutions and German development cooperation projects can apply for funding through the RIE funding programme.

RIE Research Project

In addition to the RIE funding programme, DEval is also currently conducting an RIE research project. Information on that project can be found here.



Portrait von Angelika König
© DEval

Angelika König

Senior Evaluator – Team Leader RIE Funding Programme

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-907


[Translate to Englisch:] Portrait Martin Bruder
© DEval

Dr Martin Bruder

Head of Department: Civil Society, Human Rights

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-970


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