New US policy on evaluation
USAID, the US government body responsible for foreign aid programs has issued a new policy on evaluation. According to the USAID itself, the new policy “seeks to redress the decline in the quantity and quality of USAID’s recent evaluation practice”. They highlight six key points of this policy:
1. Defining impact evaluation and performance evaluation and requiring at least one performance evaluation for each major program and any untested and innovative interventions, and encouraging impact evaluation for each major development objective in a country program, especially for new or untested approaches and interventions:
2. Calling for evaluation to be integrated into programs when they are designed;
3. Requiring sufficient resources be dedicated to evaluation, estimated at approximately three percent of total program dollars;
4. Requiring that evaluations use methods, whether qualitative or quantitative, that generate the highest quality evidence linked to the evaluation questions and that can reasonably be expected to be reproducible, yielding similar findings if applied by a different team of qualified evaluators;
5. Building local capacity by including local evaluators on evaluation teams and supporting partner government and civil society capacity to undertake evaluations; and
6. Insisting on transparency of findings with the presumption of full and active disclosure barring principled and rare exceptions.