The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approved its first strategy on gender equality in 2017. Among other elements, the strategy includes a major focus on self-help groups (SHGs) as a tool for fostering women’s economic empowerment. Due to the growth of mobile and digital technologies in Africa and India, the Foundation is interested in the current and potential use of such technologies to support SHGs. They contracted EnCompass to conduct a landscape analysis of technologies, actors, innovations, and trends in technology-enabled SHGs.
This brief illustrates EnCompass' evaluation of the Beyond Access initiative-- funded by the Global Libraries Program-- to modernize libraries across Bangladesh. This effort, implemented by Save the Children in Bangladesh and IREX, has turned over 20 libraries across the country into community hubs, providing a safe space for children to learn outside of school.
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) works to ensure that libraries have a voice in information policy debates, and to promote full and equitable intellectual participation by the public. After adopting a new strategic plan, OITP asked EnCompass to help design and develop a monitoring system that would assess progress against the new strategic goals.
This brief illustrates EnCompass' evaluation of the Beyond Access initiative-- funded by the Global Libraries Program-- to enhance access to technology in libraries across Myanmar. Implemented by the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) and IREX, this initiative has transformed 90 locations throughout Myanmar into technology hubs and community centers for learning digital skills. EnCompass conducted this evaluation in two phases using a mixed-methods approach from 2015-2016.
The Center for Digital Development (CDD) team at USAID catalyzes programs and partnerships in digital finance, access to digital- and mobile-based information and services, and the use of digital devices to improve decision making. CDD contracted EnCompass to conduct a performance evaluation of two of their programs to identify accomplishments, performance issues, lessons learned, and implementation constraints from their inception until February 2017.
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.
Everyone seems to be talking about “mobile health”, or mHealth, and exalting the power of ICT for health. Somehow, it seems that if we are not incorporating ICT in our health programs today, we have missed the train to successful health outcomes. So, after a three-year wait for USAID’s decision, I find myself as the manager of a newly-won TASC4-ICT for Health umbrella contract, or prequalification, for USAID.
EnCompass conducted an evaluation of this community development initiative, which pulls together the intellectual capital of the private sector through skills-based volunteer engagements to increase the scale, sustainability, and impact of microfinance and technology solutions to alleviate poverty. The objective of the evaluation was for the Foundation to learn from its past efforts and to help it restructure the program strategy moving forward.
As the evaluation and technical assistance partner for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Global Libraries program, EnCompass helped explore ways in which libraries, as part of multi-sectoral partnerships, could support quick and efficient delivery of sustainable solutions to development challenges.