uniquely available in the mission or in country to support improved program evaluation,
the perspectives of mission personnel and USAID implementers regarding the feasibility of potential options for improving program evaluation;
to provide an opportunity to explore a “proof of concept” of the committee’s preliminary recommendations, in particular the feasibility of introducing more rigorous approaches to program evaluation.
Three countries were selected as the sites of the field visits conducted by teams of consultants and staff: Albania, Peru, and Uganda. In particular, the selection was based primarily on the stage of program development within a country’s DG portfolio, the breadth of USAID programming, and the depth of USAID programming (as determined by long-term funding in multiple program areas of interest; see “Current and Recent USAID Projecst at the Time of Field Visits” at the end of this appendix for a list of the major DG projects in each country). In each country selected, the DG staff were at the stage of developing new projects, offering an optimal opportunity to explore options for program design that may be more or less suited for various research methodologies. The NA field team members (see “Consultant Biographies” at the end of this appendix) were thus able to understand a variety of projects at the stage of their inception, the point at which new methodologies would be most effectively designed to maximize confidence about the impact of projects and under what conditions. These considerations guided the selection of cases across geographically and politically distinct regions of the world (Central Europe/Post-Communist, Latin America/Post-Military Rule, Africa/Post-Conflict).
While there is no single point at which DG programs can be most effectively designed, implemented, or evaluated, the initial stages of development and design provide the most fruitful points at which innovative yet feasible options may be considered. Each field team therefore selected one or more projects and worked closely with USAID Mission DG officers, project implementers, and local partners through a series of in-depth conversations to understand the various opportunities and challenges presented by newly proposed program designs, data collection, and more rigorous evaluation techniques. A fuller discussion of these proposed program designs in each country visited follows.