Evaluations at USAID
USAID is committed to rigorous and high-quality program evaluation – the systematic collection and analysis of information to understand and improve the impact of our development programs. USAID's Evaluation Policy supports the objectives laid out in the 2016 Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act and is consistent with the Foundations for Evidence Based Policymaking Act of 2018.
USAID's Evaluation Policy elevates evaluation as a source of evidence and sets standards and expectations for evaluation quality and use. The Evaluation Policy is embedded within USAID’s Automated Directives System, Chapter 201 Program Cycle Operational Policy
Relevant and high-quality evaluation is an important tool to track the progress, results and effectiveness of international development programs. USAID has commissioned independent studies to examine evaluation quality at USAID. These are available on USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse, with a few examples listed below:
Meta-Evaluation of Quality and Coverage of USAID Evaluations, 2013
- DRG Impact Evaluation Retrospective, 2021
Evaluation is used to systematically collect and analyze data to inform decision-making and contribute to program effectiveness. Along with monitoring, evaluation contributes evidence, as part of a broader body of information, to improve policy formulation, strategic planning, project and activity design and resource decisions. USAID periodically reviews how evidence from evaluations are used, with some examples including:
Meta-Evaluation of Quality and Coverage of USAID Evaluations, 2009 - 2012