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Community Contribution

Building Self-Reliance in West Africa: Learning from USAID's Ebola Recovery

Annette Bongiovanni

CONTEXT. To help West Africa recover from the Ebola crisis that occurred between December 2013 and January 2016, USAID obligated $475 million of both Economic Support Fund (ESF) and non-ESF funding (through the end of FY 2017) to implement multisectoral activities in West Africa. To evaluate the impact that investment had and capture the learning it generated that will benefit future recovery efforts, USAID's Bureau for Africa (USAID/AFR) contracted with International Business & Technical Consultants Inc. (IBTCI) to deliver the Ebola Pillar II Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Activity (EPII MEL). The activity included conducting a performance evaluation of and capturing the learning from USAID's Ebola recovery activities (known as Pillar II) in three Ebola-affected West African countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The multi-year Pillar II funds mitigated the second-order impacts of the disease by addressing its economic, social, and political consequences with activities focused on improving food security, health services, and health systems; mitigating governance and economic crisis; and promoting innovation, technology, and public-private partnerships). These activities helped prevent the loss of development gains; strengthen existing institutions and infrastructure; and build sustained systems, partnerships, and capacity.

CLA APPROACH/OUTCOMES. This form details how USAID/AFR and IBTCI managed the EPII MEL Activity actively using CLA techniques to: (a) implement a two-phase evaluation where the first informed the second; (b) increase its focus on knowledge management & learning (KML) activities; (c) and capture its impact on self-reliance.

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