Walking the Talk: The Need for a Trial Registry for Development Interventions

Ole Dahl Rasmussen, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, Thomas Barnebeck Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Recent advances in the use of randomised control trials to evaluate the effect of development interventions promise to enhance our knowledge of what works and why. A core argument supporting randomised studies is the claim that they have high internal validity. The authors argue that this claim is weak as long as a trial registry of development interventions is not in place. Without a trial registry, the possibilities for data mining, created by analyses of multiple outcomes and subgroups, undermine internal validity. Drawing on experience from evidence-based medicine and recent examples from microfinance, they argue that a trial registry would also enhance external validity and foster innovative research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Development Effectiveness
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)502-519
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Impact assessment
  • Randomised control trials
  • Trial registry

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