Plenary 8: Evaluation for the Education Sector:
Applying the New Evaluation Policy
August 25, 2011 — 1:45 p.m.
||Cynthia Clapp-Wincek, USAID Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research
||Ron Raphael, USAID Office of Education
Cynthia Clapp-Wincek gave an overview of the evaluation and program cycle that outlines how the strategic planning, project design, and evaluation policies are applied. She noted that good evaluation is based on good project planning and cannot stand alone without being integrated into the program cycle.
USAID is issuing new guidance on how to integrate evaluation into the project cycle through the Country Development Cooperative Strategies (CDCS). The CDCS prioritize USAID assistance, inform annual budgets, and offer guidance on project implementation and design. As strategies with results frameworks are approved, Missions are mandated to follow the new guidance. Relevant ADS guidance is also being re-written to support implementation of the new policies.
The development of new CDCSs will be informed by country profiles and priorities and reflect principles of aid effectiveness related to donor and partner cooperation. All new country development strategies need to include the new USAID policies (i.e. education, evaluation) and need to be based on a sound development hypothesis, lessons learned, and evidence.
The new Evaluation Policy, developed in January 2011, will be used as an accountability measure and to systematically generate knowledge and performance outcomes that can inform new project implementation. The policy promotes the use of two types of evaluations: (1) performance evaluations which will constitute the majority of assessments, and (2) impact evaluations that will be conducted in about 10 percent of all projects. The stated evaluation standards emphasize the importance of: (1) systematic data collection based on indicators from the project design for both quantitative and qualitative data, (2) relevance to future decision-making, (3) reinforcement of local capacity to participate in evaluations, and (4) dedication of sufficient resources to ensure a thorough job.
Key take away points stress the priority that sound development of a project cycle requires the integration of an evaluation component. The Agency will provide extensive training and support on the new project design and procurement systems through service centers, websites, visiting TDY individuals, webinars, and online communities of practice. USAID staffs were encouraged to contribute suggestions or questions to the Agency Evaluation Agenda at http://tiny.cc/evalagenda and learn about other USAID reforms at http://forward.usaid.gov/.
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Clapp-Wincek PPT (440 KB)