Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research

Children in Myanmar playing with a tablet.

Co-written with Jaime L. Jarvis

How do project implementers design an intervention in a dynamic environment, when they don’t know how beneficiaries will respond? And how do evaluators design a flexible process to get decision-makers the information they need, when the theory of change is participant-driven and activities involve substantial grassroots initiative? One recent EnCompass evaluation explores these questions—with exciting results.

In September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets will guide national and international public policy.

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This case study examines two exemplary Zambian community schools where girls consistently achieve results above the national average in grade 7 national exams in order to build an evidence base for what works in improving girls’ performance in those exams. Several common factors emerged that contribute to an environment that has supported girls to perform above the national average in grade 7 national exams: free remedial lessons in grade 7, a sense of pride in the school by the extended school community, public recognition of good learner performance, support and mentoring of teachers

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This case study offers a comparison of two secondary schools—one in which most girls are returning to school after pregnancy and one where girls are returning at a lower, and more typical, rate—identifies several key factors that create an environment conducive to girls returning following maternity leave. These cases may offer lessons to help the Zambian government and its partners increase the reentry rate, thereby improving the prospects for all Zambian girls to fulfill their right to education.

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This toolkit was developed to support implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally.

Community schools in Zambia are locally founded, financed and managed through a parent community school committee (PCSC). Despite the stigma and paucity of resources associated with community schools, evidence suggests that many produce better learning outcomes than government schools. Significant research shows parental engagement to be an important factor impacting school quality, although evidence is divided about the nature of the impact.

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Part of USAID/Zambia’s education portfolio, the Time to Learn (TTL) project is a 5-year (2012-2017), USAID-funded project that collaborates with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education (MESVTEE). The project seeks to improve reading among 500,000 primary grade learners by 2017 in all community schools in six of Zambia’s 10 provinces and increase equitable education services for orphans and vulnerable children in secondary schools in these provinces.

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This internal midline impact evaluation was conducted as part of USAID's Time to Learn (TTL) project.  

This blog post was originally published by the USAID Assist Project.

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In 2001, UNAIDS was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to support countries in monitoring progress in the Global AIDS Response and to report back on progress to the General Assembly. Progress has been measured against a set of 2010 and 2015 targets, based on a global monitoring framework which draws on a global indicator set.

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