Thursday, October 8, 2009

US White House announcement: Program Evaluations

In an 7 October 2009 memorandum, issued by the Executive Office of the US President, the issue of program evaluation is emphasized ( In short, an inter-agency working group of evaluation experts under the Performance Improvement Council established will be revived. The purpose of the working group will be: (a) to help build agency evaluation capacity and create effective evaluation networks that draw on the best expertise inside and outside the Federal government; (b) to share best practices from agencies with strong, independent evaluation offices; (c) to make research expertise available to agencies that need assistance in selecting appropriate research designs in different contexts; (d) to devise strategies for using data and evaluation to drive continuous improvement in program policy and practice; and (e) to develop government-wide guidance on program evaluation practices across the Federal government while allowing agencies flexibility to adopt practices suited to their specific needs. A key goal of the working group will be to help agencies determine the most rigorous study designs appropriate for different programs given their size, stage of development, and other factors.

The question to me is: Will this also apply to programs receiving US foreign aid via USAID during the Obama administration? Is so, when?

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