Asia Regional Evaluation Summit: Measuring Inequality and Development Gaps
USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) and the United Nations Evaluation Development Group for Asia and the Pacific (UNEDAP) hosted the “Asia Regional Evaluation Summit” last week at the USAID Asia Regional Training Center in Bangkok. Nearly 100 development professionals, representing 15 countries, from NGOs, universities, regional organizations, USAID and the UN, attended the Summit.
In this presentation, Suzanne Polak from USAID/RDMA described an index of measures, based on publicly available data, the Agency uses to monitor and track development gaps among countries. Polak used the index to analyze countries in Asia to assist USAID/RDMA in their strategy development. She emphasized that by visualizing the information in easy-to-read graphs and charts, policymakers and others have an easier time digesting and understanding the data. She and the panelists discussed that, while macro-level indicators are useful for decision making, donors and policymakers need to dig deeper to understand regional trends in order to make effective programming decisions.