Evaluation and Articulation of Lessons Learned: Unfortunately, during the past few years USAID’s broad program of evaluation has eroded considerably. Many development challenges will remain for decades, and the unique experience of USAID in addressing them needs to be mined for valuable lessons. A revival of senior-level interest in evaluation is essential, particularly with regard to past S&T activities which may have been complicated and risky to undertake but which have returned significant dividends.
As we have noted, during the next several months, the Committee will be consulting with a variety of organizations and individual specialists at home and abroad to complete our assessment of the role of S&T in foreign assistance. We plan to pay special attention to the international programs of other U.S. agencies and to examine how the U.S. can most effectively assist in strengthening local S&T capacity. We realize how highly other countries value U.S. S&T achievements and how politically important S&T cooperation can be in building bridges around the world. At the same time, we will continue to focus our efforts on the social and economic payoff from integrating S&T more fully into USAID’s development programs.
In order to help ensure that we are concentrating on issues that you consider to be of greatest importance, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you at your earliest convenience both the suggestions set forth in this letter and our agenda for the remainder of the study.