PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF THE EVIDENCE PROJECT: Ensuring that today’s research is tomorrow’s programs

USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health’s flagship implementation science project,
the Evidence Project, was awarded in September 2013 as a five-plus-five-year cooperative
agreement. To inform decisions about future programming, the USAID management team
supported a performance evaluation through the Global Health Program Cycle Improvement
Project (GH Pro). A three-person evaluation team, including one external consultant and two
USAID staff members, conducted an evaluation, between January and April 2017, that included
interviews with 95 key informants, review of project documents, and visits to Nigeria, Senegal,
and Uganda.
The Evidence Project has more than 50 activities in 16 countries and is designed to generate
new evidence, synthesize and share existing evidence, and increase use of evidence. Most
respondents noted that the Evidence Project had a slow and shaky start, but that there is now a
strong team and a significantly improved situation. The Evidence Project has produced some
valuable reports and is conducting important research on a wide range of topics from tasksharing
to expanding access for youth and measuring rights-based family planning. However,
there are still tensions between the project and USAID, stemming from the early years of the
project, and the team heard concerns regarding the quality of some products and research
utilization (RU) efforts that focused on process more than outcomes. Therefore, the evaluation
team suggests the project prioritize completion of its existing work, along with a focus on RU
and handoff, to ensure important RU outcomes.

Resource type: 
Operating Unit: 
Julie Solo
Nandita Thatte
Erika Houghtaling
Publication date: 
May, 2017