Please join us for a discussion on Improving the Quality and Dissemination of Foreign Assistance Agencies’ Evaluations with Gergana Danailova-Trainor.
This brown bag will be held on Wednesday, March 22 from 12:00-1:30pm at the IBM Center for the Business of Government (600 14th Street NW, 2nd Floor). Please register by March 21.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on how foreign assistance agencies can facilitate use and incorporate lessons learned into further program design or budget decisions. The six agencies are components of the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, State, and Agriculture. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Millennium Challenge Corporation were also included in the study.
A growing body of high-quality broadly disseminated evaluations can help the U.S. continuously improve its foreign assistance programs to meet our foreign policy goals to support democracy, enhance security and reduce poverty and suffering. For U.S. agencies that provide foreign assistance, evaluations are essential to assess and help improve program results. Prior GAO work has identified challenges in design, implementation and dissemination of evaluations of individual foreign assistance programs. The Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 requires the President to establish guidelines for conducting evaluations. For this study, GAO was asked to review U.S. agencies’ evaluations of foreign assistance programs. In six agencies that administer the largest amounts of foreign assistance, we examined the extent to which the evaluations met key evaluation quality criteria, cost of the evaluations and factors affecting that cost, and the extent to which agencies ensure the dissemination of their evaluation reports. The eight criteria for high-quality evaluations used in evaluating a representative sample of 173 FY 2015 evaluations were derived from a review of federal, international, and evaluation organization guidance and prior GAO reports. Dr. Danalilova-Trainor will discuss opportunities for strengthening evaluation quality and dissemination and therefore the ability to manage aid funds more effectively. Improving stakeholder access to these evaluations can play a role in making better-informed decisions about future program design and implementation.
The report can be accessed on GAO’s home page at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-316.
Gergana Danailova-Trainor is a Senior Economist with the US Government Accountability Office. Since coming to GAO in 2005 Dr. Danailova-Trainor provided technical expertise and has led teams in International Affairs and Trade (IAT) in assessing the results of programs and the effects of policies implemented by U.S. government agencies. She has worked on multiple engagements in most major IAT portfolio areas including: international security; foreign assistance; international trade; human rights; international sanctions; and foreign affairs management. More recently, she has applied her knowledge of human trafficking program evaluation and MCC’s results framework to a broader meta-evaluation of foreign assistance programs across key U.S. foreign assistance agencies.
(c) 2017 Washington Evaluators