The Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA MERL) is designed to test the effectiveness of developmental evaluation (DE) in the USAID context. DE provides an approach to evaluation that is quick, ongoing, and takes an iterative approach to data collection, analysis, and feedback. This contributes to timely adaptations throughout the project cycle, allowing for systems changes, as well as changes in targeted outcomes. DEPA MERL is not only helping programs to learn and adapt, but is embracing a CLA approach to its own implementation of DEs. In this case study, we discuss how DEPA MERL infuses CLA at three levels of programming:
- In the implementation of DEs themselves through ensuring a) collaboration and active participation of stakeholders in the DE pilots; and b) facilitating adaptation and the responsiveness of the stakeholders to act upon data that suggests a change should be made;
- In the evaluation of DEPA MERL’s own work across DE pilots using both performance-based measures and DE techniques; and,
- In the Uptake DE pilot, helping three Centers at the Global Development Lab to document, learn, and adapt their approaches to sustained uptake of innovations in real time.