others’ work, which is in turn critical for addressing strategic questions at a broader policy- or program-practice level. It is useful to distinguish, he noted, between an internal, institution-specific evaluation that relates to tracking needs for program survival and direction change and a shared international evaluation that relates to influencing how other actors use resources and to strengthening overall capacity. Given the high program transaction costs of evaluation for countries and partners, collaborating as much as possible also minimizes work and ensures more efficient use of funds, observed speakers Julia Compton of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Agnes Binagwaho of the Rwanda National AIDS Control Commission. Speaker Sara Pacqué-Margolis of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation further underscored the importance of coordination to ensure maximum use of evaluation dollars, noting that successful completion of impact evaluations involves high human and financial resource costs, an extensive time frame, and serious commitment. Speaker Mary Lyn Field-Nguer of John Snow, Inc., pointed out that the strengths and perspectives brought to the table by focus-country government partners, implementing partners, and other stakeholders are a further benefit. She and other workshop participants outlined the value each stakeholder brings to the evaluation process.
The value of engaging partner countries is their accountability to their citizens, observed Field-Nguer. Government partners were dealing with the challenges of service delivery to their populations long before PEPFAR and can provide a critical perspective on health system issues, such as health care workforce and supply chain issues, and how PEPFAR is addressing these, she added. Even in the context of an emergency situation, involvement of partner countries in the design of evaluation questions and methodology can improve the quality of the overall evaluation design and the interpretation of evaluation findings, noted speaker Binagwaho. Speaker Kathy Marconi of the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) stressed that involvement of partner countries can support the process of developing evaluation priorities that are actually meaningful to the countries, and this has implications for sustainability.
The value of engaging implementing partners is their familiarity with program data and lessons and their understanding of the challenges of delivering services across a continuum of care, stated Field-Nguer. Coordination with implementing partners, with their knowledge of the lessons of