CLA in Action: MEL Platform for Gender Programs in Afghanistan
RSI Consulting, an Afghan-owned firm, was tasked to develop an impact evaluation methodology for USAID’s Promote, the largest women’s empowerment program in Afghanistan. As it proceeded, RSI identified multiple challenges in implementing a robust impact evaluation methodology for women in Afghanistan. It needed a solution to reliably track Promote program participants to measure outcomes and impact that could be applicable to multiple USAID implementing partners across variable geographies, security environments and languages.
RSI used a CLA approach to tackle the problem. What resulted from the CLA approach is an integrated Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) platform that aligns MEL efforts across the strategy, project, and activity levels, and is structured with continuing CLA in mind. It uses a unique identifier (fingerprint) to precisely track participation in activities, and then link precise activity participation to surveys that measure outcomes and impact.
The CLA approach also informed RSI’s ability to build the system with continued adaptation. RSI routinely incorporates feedback to continuously improve the MEL system for all of it’s users, which include USAID implementing partners, USAID staff, third party monitors and evaluation providers. The MEL platform also serves to inform program learning and USAID’s development outcomes. Because it ties activity participation precisely to outcomes, USAID and implementing partners can redirect resources with the most robust outcomes and make evidence-based programming decisions for continuous program improvement.