EnCompass Insights

September 29, 2015

Primary level students in a rural Zambian community school (c/o Zachariah Falconer-Stout)

The USAID Education Strategy approaches education as both foundational to human development and critically linked to economic growth and democratic governance. Education raises individual incomes and improves health outcomes. Access to education is a crucial precondition to educational impact, but what matters most thereafter is the quality of education. Recognizing these important links to other powerful drivers of development, EnCompass has recently developed a number of resources focused on practical solutions and innovative approaches in education that empower girls and boys to create a better future in all countries.

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September 01, 2015

This guest post was written by Christy Allison and Maria Brindlmayer of JBS International, Inc. JBS is an EnCompass partner on the USAID Evaluation Services IDIQ contract.

In a recent conversation we heard someone ask: “If impact evaluations are so powerful, why don’t we just use them more often?” Impact evaluations are sometimes characterized as the most important evaluations, and among them, the randomized control trials (RCTs) as the “gold standard”. What makes them so coveted is their ability to assign causality, i.e., being able to measure the change in a development outcome and attribute it to a defined intervention. Donors and implementers want to invest in interventions...

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July 22, 2015

Participants at a recent USAID training session.

EnCompass has won the rebid of the USAID Training and Facilitation Services contract at an exciting time in the Agency’s history of organizational management and development. Since 2006, EnCompass has been a trusted partner for the USAID Office of Human Capital and Talent Management (HCTM), successfully providing a wide range of training design and delivery services. The new work with HCTM is launching right on the heels of the recent release of USAID’s 2015-2019 Global Workforce Learning Strategy (GWLS).

The new GWLS centers on a long-term, sustainable human capital development framework, and prioritizes the building of supervision, management, and leadership...

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June 30, 2015

Then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, "Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally," in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 4th of July holiday presents an opportunity for all Americans to pause and think about what we are truly celebrating: whose freedom, whose independence, whose rights?  Recent discussions among EnCompass staff about the events in Charleston reveal the many different feelings and experiences among our staff about what it means to be an American. And those in EnCompass whose identity is in other nationalities and live in the United States, or in other countries, have yet a different set of experiences of this country. There are many things to celebrate on the 4th of July; to name a few: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990, President Obama signing of the Violence Against Women Act...

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June 10, 2015

We often hear the term “value engineering” in reference to health care or the construction industry. While the term has sometimes seemed synonymous with cost cutting, at its heart, value-engineering is meant to enhance the value of a product, system or service by taking a function-oriented, systematic, team approach that results in the biggest bang for money spent.

Value engineering aims to figure out how exactly to provide quality services within constrained environments.  Caroline Heider, Director General of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank, calls it “value for money” evaluation. In a blog post on this topic, Heider adds “for whom?”, and urges clients and implementers of evaluation to...

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