Skip to main content
Community Contribution

Collaborative Scoping Research to Design USAID's Climate Services Evaluation

Jeremy Gans

USAID invests in climate services around the world to help individuals and organizations better adapt to climate variability and change. While the Agency has invested in more than 40 climate services activities since 2012, evidence and learning from this portfolio had not been systematically examined and shared to inform programming decisions. USAID/Washington's Adaptation team wanted to evaluate these diverse climate services investments but was uncertain how best to prioritize its learning interests.

After a year of trying internally to decide on key elements of the evaluation scope, the team pursued a different approach. With the help of Management Systems International (MSI), the team engaged in collaborative scoping research to identify relevant investments, clarify knowledge gaps and priority learning themes, consider potential evaluation questions, weigh evaluation design options, and facilitate final decisions on the evaluation scope. This scoping research included a focused desk review, interviews with likely target audiences, and preparation of a briefing note. A final facilitated group discussion enabled the team to quickly agree on core aspects of the evaluation scope. The process also helped ensured the evaluation would be feasible given limited resources and useful for the target audiences.

The scoping research contributed to the Adaptation team's decision to design the evaluation in interative phases with pause-and-reflect sessions to ensure relevant results and products. The collaborative approach also allowed the Adaptation team to work across different areas of expertise and helped it think further about how CLA approaches can be used when the big-picture questions may be clear but the evidence base is uncertain.

Page last updated