Archive for the ‘U.S. Agency for International Development’ Category

USAID: Statement on Peer Review of U.S. Global Development Efforts

August 1, 2011 Comments off

Statement on Peer Review of U.S. Global Development Efforts
Source: U.S. Agency for International Development (OECD)

Today the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of a year-long assessment of policies and programs across the U.S. government to promote international development, respond to humanitarian emergencies, and strengthen transitional and post-conflict nations. Each member of the DAC is reviewed by its peers every four years; as a DAC member, the United States both receives reviews and conducts them. We find the 2011 DAC review of the U.S. government’s global development efforts to be fair, objective and rigorous, and express our thanks to the DAC and peer reviewers from the European Union and Denmark for their comprehensive efforts.

We are gratified that the review concludes that the United States has made significant progress since the 2006 review in areas critical to efficient and cost-effective foreign assistance. The DAC highlights U.S. government leadership in such areas as promoting public-private partnerships, applying strict standards of measurement and evaluation, adopting clear policy guidance from senior leadership, meeting commitments to assistance flows to Africa and the poorest developing countries, and ensuring that the U.S. Agency for International Development is empowered to serve as a world-class development agency. It praises the United States as a generous and compassionate leader in assistance to humanitarian emergencies around the world. The DAC also cites the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s focus on country ownership, predictability in funding, and evidence-based results as a model of delivering assistance in line with established principles of aid effectiveness.

The DAC recognizes as “game changing documents” and “significant political achievements” both President Barack Obama’s Policy Directive on Global Development, and the State Department’s and USAID’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). These policies elevate development as a core pillar of civilian power, equal in status with diplomacy and defense. The review notes that the QDDR provides the roadmap to implement this strategic vision, and welcomes the measures now underway to achieve this outcome, including under the USAID Forward reform agenda.

+ The United States (2011), DAC Peer Review: Main Findings and Recommendations (OECD)

USAID from the American people: evaluation policy

June 10, 2011 Comments off

USAID from the American people: evaluation policy (PDF)
Source: U.S. Agency for International Development

Built on our agency’s rich tradition of evaluation, this policy sets out an ambitious recommitment to learn as we ―do,‖ updating our standards and practices to address contemporary needs. In an increasingly complex operating environment, the discipline of development demands a strong practice and use of evaluation as a crucial tool to inform our global development efforts, and to enable us to make hard choices based on the best available evidence.

This policy was developed in response to calls from within USAID. The development professionals who apply their best thinking to solve hard problems know that we can learn more systematically from our work, and that we can more rigorously and credibly document our programs’ effectiveness. I have been inspired to see the broad and active engagement throughout the organization in establishing high standards that reflect an enduring commitment to using well the resources entrusted to us.

I have great expectations for the work of USAID. I expect us to succeed in some of our efforts, and to fall short in others. I expect a strong evaluation function and feedback loop that enables us to be accountable in both cases, and to learn from each so that we can make continuous improvements. We can do this only with evidence and data to inform our decisions, and with unprecedented transparency about what we have learned and where.

That is why I am so excited to share this policy. In it you will find more demanding evaluation requirements, ensuring that the majority of our program resources are subject to evaluation. You’ll learn of our commitment to high methodological standards that are clear from the design stage, and that ensure to the extent possible that a different evaluator using the same methods would arrive at similar findings and conclusions. We will be unbiased, requiring that evaluation teams be led by outside experts and that no implementing partner be solely responsible for evaluating its own activities. We will be transparent, registering all evaluations and disclosing findings as widely as possible, with standard summaries available on the website in a searchable form. To support these new standards, we will reinvigorate our training, ability to access technical expertise, and investment in evaluation.

Importantly, it is our hope that you will find this policy in and of itself a basis for our own organizational learning. We will continue to improve and make adjustments as we implement so that we can incorporate new ideas and maintain its relevance for USAID.


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