USAID/Liberia’s Rapid, Cost-friendly, and Collaborative Evaluations
In a context where Missions are seeking ways to be more creative and cost-effective with their work, even the way we learn and adapt begins to shift. The Democracy, Rights, and Governance (DRG) Office at USAID/Liberia needed a CLA approach to inform whether and how to exercise option years for an activity, transition planning with the new Government Administration in Liberia, and a new design of the Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS).
Together with USAID/Liberia’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning mechanism implemented by Social Impact, the DRG Office developed the Midterm Strategic Stocktaking Review approach. The approach was structured into two phases that took place over seven days: 1) developing a technical evidence base and 2) joint analysis and decision-making. During the first phase, technical experts from USAID/Washington and Liberia conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders to collect information on successes, challenges, and opportunities. The second phase consisted of three workshop sessions with the donor and implementer to analyze the evidence, identify ways forward, and develop recommendations that are responsive to emerging contextual changes.
This CLA approach enabled the donor to intentionally and systematically collect the perspective of the stakeholders that influence implementation. A key guidepost throughout the discussion was how to move away from short-term solutions and toward enabling the government partner to become a self-reliant agent with the resources and operational priorities that leave it in a strategic position after the USAID activity closes out. Now, USAID's priorities are better aligned with partner and stakeholder needs, therein allowing CDCS design and activity adaptation to strategically support the Liberian government's agenda and locally-driven development results.