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Community Contribution

Building Systems for Evidence Utilization at the DRG Center

Aleta Starosta, Ryan Hatano, Daniel Sabet

USAID/Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) Center/Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation’s (DDI’s) Evidence and Learning (E&L) Team identified a need for a regular, systematic process to examine how USAID is utilizing findings from evaluations, assessments, and other research products to inform program design and adaptation. The E&L Team worked with The Cloudburst Group (Cloudburst) and the other learning partners— NORC and Social Impact—on the Learning, Evaluation, and Research (LER) II Task Order (TO) to develop an evidence-informed process to ensure greater utilization of the evaluations and assessments conducted for the DRG Center. . Cloudburst collected Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) data about research dissemination and utilization and, based on the findings, collaboratively developed a standardized approach for following up with USAID staff about the use of learning products to measure utilization across a number of indicators. As this approach has been implemented, the E&L Team and the Learning Partners meet regularly for pause and reflect sessions to share best practices and adapt the protocols and tools developed as part of the approach. As a result of the CLA process, the E&L team is now well-positioned to track their progress towards their utilization goals, and the team expects to see greater utilization of research findings over time. Cloudburst has also made adjustments to research approaches based on these learnings, including explicitly including utilization plans in the design reports for research activities with an emphasis on sharing findings with local stakeholders outside of USAID and the implementing partner (IP).

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