Using Evidence from Past Evaluations

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From AID to Trade: Delivering Results

The ultimate goal of trade capacity building assistance is to expand the number of people that benefit from global trade. Overall, this evaluation concludes that USAID and U.S. government programs have contributed substantively toward this goal. Project documents detail a range of successful USAID strategies that help firms and governments meet the demands of the international marketplace, improve the policy environment for trade, and enable countries’ trade and logistics systems to function more efficiently.



The USAID Trade Evaluations List

It is essential that project designs benefit from analysis or the acquisition of development experience and lessons learned through high-quality evaluations, assessments, other studies, and performance monitoring data.

USAID considers an evidence-based approach to be as important for project design as it is for the development of a CDCS. It expects that a project design team will cast a broad net to bring into the design process related evaluations, assessments, studies, etc., that can inform the design process including project performance to date for ongoing projects. Where available, the design team should review and compare the unit cost of delivery with other comparable projects.

As this process parallels the evidence gathering steps in the development of a CDCS, processes and tools developed for CDCS preparation can also be used in project design. When beginning this process, you may find two elements of the CDCS section of this kit helpful, namely:

  • Locating Evaluations – a guide to sources of evaluations
  • Summarizing Evaluation Evidence – which introduces and provides a completed example of a simple form for documenting the key findings of evaluations that have relevance for the design process.

You can access and use the full version of this template during project design by going to Evaluation Evidence for Project Design.

Evidence Summary Table
Evaluation Title, author, source, URL or other means of access
Specific Evidence Specific findings relevant to the CDCS design
Evidence Strength What makes this evidence strong or not very strong?

For USAID staff beginning a trade project design process, access to previous trade evaluations carried out by USAID and other donors is important.

  • The bibliography in From Aid to Trade: Delivering Results includes a lengthy list of USAID and other donor evaluations of trade capacity building projects and programs that has been excerpted as The USAID Trade Evaluation List and updated to include trade evaluations added to the USAID DEC and other directories between 2010 and September 2012.
  • USAID evaluations undertaken since then can be found through USAID’s Evaluation Showcase or the Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC). A broader range of more recent donor evaluations can be found in the OECD’s DAC Evaluation Resource Center (DEReC).
  • Recent impact evaluations that focus on trade can also be found at the J-PALDIME and 3ie sites described on the Locating Evaluation page in this kit.
 << Project Design Up Project Evaluation Evidence Template (Optional) >>



A toolkit developed and implemented by:
Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform
Bureau of Economic Growth, Education, and Environment
US Agency for International Development (USAID)

For more information, please contact Paul Fekete.

Last updated: July 12, 2021

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