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Meta-Evaluation of Quality and Coverage of USAID Evaluations

Global USAID 2009 2012

Meta-evaluation was undertaken to assess the quality of USAID’s evaluation reports. The study builds on USAID’s practice of periodically examining evaluation quality to identify opportunities for improvement. It covers USAID evaluations completed between January 2009 and December 2012. During this four-year period, USAID launched an ambitious effort called USAID Forward, which aims to integrate all aspects of the Agency’s programming approach, including program and project evaluations, into a modern, evidence-based system for realizing development results. A key element of this initiative is USAID’s Evaluation Policy, released in January 2011.

Meta-Evaluation Questions The meta-evaluation on which this volume reports systematically examined 340 randomly selected evaluations and gathered qualitative data from USAID staff and evaluators to address three questions:

  1. To what degree have quality aspects of USAID’s evaluation reports, and underlying practices, changed over time?
  2. At this point in time, on which evaluation quality aspects or factors do USAID’s evaluation reports excel and where are they falling short?
  3. What can be determined about the overall quality of USAID evaluation reports and where do the greatest opportunities for improvement lie?

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