USAID's Strategic Impact Evaluations: "LAC Reads" and E3/ED's "Reading and Access"

Publisher: Washington, DC: USAID Global Education Summit
Nov 02, 2015
Authors
Nancy Murray

Key Findings:

  • Strong leadership at USAID LAC/RSD and USAID commitment to evaluation has been critical in helping us to manage “challenges.”
  • Other critical and essential components of the evaluation include: (1) flexibility in interpreting implementing partners’ contractual requirements related to numbers of beneficiaries served, (2) flexibility in evaluation contracts and implementing partners’ agreements to cover the costs associated with cooperating with evaluation needs, (3) implementing partners’ openness and willingness to support evaluation mandate, and (4)constant communication with all stakeholders around key moments of the evaluation.

This is a five-year project to rigorously evaluate and estimate costs of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) investments in early literacy and access to education in conflict settings in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Mathematica is currently leading multi-year studies in four countries (Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, and Nicaragua). The evaluations are using randomized controlled trial designs as well as implementation and qualitative studies. One of the primary goals of this contract is to conduct capacity-building workshops and activities with local researchers to build their capacity in conducting rigorous research and engage them in key roles on the evaluation implementation. The project also involves a costing component for each intervention backed by basic education support from USAID.