Department of State Program Evaluation Policy Overview Spring

Report
Department of State
Program Evaluation Policy
Overview
Spring 2013
1
Overview of Policy and Status
• Policy was approved by Secretary on March 1, 2012
• This is the first State Department Policy
• The policy defines evaluation as : A systematic and objective
assessment of an on-going or completed project, program or
policy: Evaluations are undertaken to (a) improve the
performance of existing interventions or policies, (b) asses
their effects and impacts, and (c) inform decisions about
future programming. Evaluations are formal analytical
endeavors involving systematic collection and analysis of
qualitative and quantitative information.
2
Policy Application
•
The Policy applies to evaluating the Department’s diplomatic, management and
development programs, projects, and activities
•
Evaluation is essential to the Department’s ability to:
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Measure and monitor program performance
Make decisions about programmatic adjustments and changes
Document program impact
Identify best practices and lessons learned
Assess return on investment
Provide inputs for policy, planning, and budget decisions
Assure accountability
The Policy intends to:
– Provide a coordinated strategy and work plan for conducting evaluations
– Respond to stakeholder demands for transparency in decision-making
– Work in concert with existing and pending Department policies, strategies, and operational
guidance
3
The Department of State
• Is very large and diverse
• It has 51 major bureaus and offices covering a huge array of
fields form nuclear disarmament to health to law
enforcement to human trafficking to visa and passports
• It has over 200 posts overseas
• Our policy on evaluation not only includes programs but
management and diplomacy
4
APPLICABILITY & PURPOSE
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Effective March 1, 2012, the evaluation policy applies to all State Bureaus and
Major Offices such as S/GAC.
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The Policy proposes a framework to implement evaluations and is intended to
provide:
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Clarity about the purposes of evaluation
Evaluation requirements
Types of evaluation
An approach for conducting, disseminating, and using evaluations
Evaluation at the Department has two primary purposes:
ACCOUNTABILITY
LEARNING
•Help determine cost effectiveness and
planning and implementation quality
•Provide empirical data for reports to
various stakeholders
•Document the results, impact, and
effectiveness of activities
•Inform decision-making
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EVALUATION REQUIREMENTS
• Policy requires “all large programs, projects, and activities be
evaluated at least once in their lifetime or every five years,
whichever is less.”
• Programs, projects, and activities broadly defined so that bureaus
can apply the policy according to the level where most of their
funding is used.
• Beginning in FY 2012, bureaus are required to evaluate 2 - 4
programs, projects, and activities within a 24-month period. Posts
will be added in FY 2013.
• Bureaus must also ensure that implementing organizations carry
out evaluations consistent with The Policy’s guidelines.
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EVALUATION TYPES & STANDARDS
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Types: Performance Evaluation vs. Impact Evaluations
PERFORMANCE
• Examines the inputs, outputs, outcomes,
and performance of an intervention
IMPACT
• Measures the change attributable to a
given intervention
The expectation is that most evaluations conducted will be
Performance Evaluations.
Whether Performance or Impact, all evaluations must be contextsensitive, independent, and methodologically sound.
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EVALUATION TYPES & STANDARDS
Standards: Methodological Rigor & Independence and Integrity
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Methodological Rigor
– Evaluations should be “evidence based,” meaning that they are based
on verifiable data and information that have been gathered using
professional evaluation standards
– Data must be reliable and valid
– Qualitative and quantitative data are acceptable
• Independence and Integrity
– Bureaus must ensure that evaluators are free from any pressure and/or
bureaucratic interference.
– Bureau staff and managers should be actively engaged during the
evaluation process, but that engagement must not improperly
influence the outcome.
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EVALUATION USE & BUREAU EVALUATION PLANS
EVALUATION USE
• Evaluation findings must be integrated into decisions made
about strategic plans, program priorities, project design,
planning, and budget formulation.
BUREAU EVALUATION PLANS
• Bureaus must develop and submit a annual Bureau
Evaluation Plan (BEP)
• The BEP will cover a three-year period and will be updated
annually.
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EVALUATION RESPONSIBILITY
AGENCY LEVEL
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F and BP will work closely with the Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) to assist
bureaus in implementing the policy.
F – Coordinator for Foreign Assistance-funded programs, projects, and activities
evaluations
BP – Coordinator for State Operations-funded programs, projects, and activities
evaluations
F and BP to coordinate tools, technical support, funding and evaluation training to assist
bureaus in implementing The Policy.
BUREAU LEVEL
•
Management Responsibility
– It is the bureau’s responsibility to ensure that evaluations are planned, budgeted,
and conducted.
– Bureaus are asked to budget for evaluations in their 2014 BRR.
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Implementation Responsibility
– It is the bureau’s responsibility to implement and manage evaluations.
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BUREAU POINT OF CONTACT & EVALUATION RESOURCES
BUREAU POINT OF CONTACT
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Each bureau must identify a senior staff person to be the Bureau Point
of Contact for evaluation
– Should be a Deputy Assistant Secretary or their designee
– Will be the main point of contact in the bureau on evaluation
– Will interact with the PIO, F, and BP on the bureau’s evaluation efforts
and compliance with the evaluation policy.
EVALUATION RESOURCES
• Performance monitoring and evaluation are allowable Foreign Assistance
program costs
– Evaluation costs will vary by program, so no set amount is prescribed.
– Based on international professional standards, program managers
should identify resources of up to 3-5% for evaluation activities.
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SUPPORT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
• Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts: Five IDIQ
contracts to facilitate contractual services for evaluations: Dexis Consulting
Group; Development and Training Services; DevTech Systems; Social
Impact, Inc.; and Weidemann Associates.
• Evaluation Guidance: Covers planning for evaluations; SOWs; data
collection methods; evaluation reports; using evaluation information;
confidentiality; role of Bureau Evaluation Coordinator
• Training: Department is providing training and technical assistance
(TA&T)to bureau staff. Will coordinate TA&T with Bureau Evaluation
Coordinators
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DOCUMENTING & SHARING EVALUATION REPORTS
• Bureaus and posts must maintain an official copy of completed evaluation
reports.
• Final evaluation reports will be sent to a new internal web site
• Bureaus and posts are required to post copies of their evaluation reports
on their OpenNet or ClassNet website homepage.
• Summaries of completed evaluations will be reported in the Department’s
Annual Performance Report.
13
Implementation efforts and status
• The first task was to build staff capacity and a culture which
values evaluation
• We have two professional training programs operative and
have trained over 100 staff thus far
• We have a very active ((100 members) Community of Practice
group which meets monthly to pick up and share information
• We have 35 ongoing evaluations and over 100 planned this
year
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