MCC’s first set of impact evaluation reports were, as expected, a mixed bag of results, revealing where the agency’s programs worked and where they did not. Experts did note: Lessons from the evaluations — both positive and negative — and how MCC applies these are just as important as the results.
The MCC went beyond what’s required with its impact evaluation reports, Sarah Jane Staats of the Center for Global Development told Devex. As she noted in a recent blog post, MCC sets its standards higher than any other U.S. agency engaged in development.
USAID plans to perform similar impact evaluations as part of a policy Administrator Rajiv Shah unveiled in 2011. It’s part of several sweeping reforms under USAID Forward.
The release of USAID impact evaluations and, in general, a stronger focus on U.S. aid transparency and evaluation should be a priority of U.S. President Barack Obama in his second term, Staats told Devex the day after Obama’s re-election.
Staats did admit that there is a danger of “any kind of kneejerk reaction particularly in such a tight budget cycle that would punish an agency for releasing what doesn’t go well.”
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