Who generally selects and hires the local evaluators?

Who generally selects and hires the local evaluators?

USAID's ADS 203 on evaluation highly recommends having local evaluators on evaluation teams, and we are interested in hearing from our partners on this issue. Have you been on a team with local evaluators (or are you a local evaluator)? How often are local evaluators included on evaluation teams? Who generally selects and hires the local evaluators? What has worked well? What hasn’t?

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The most current data on participation of local evaluators is from a meta-analysis of 169 evaluations conducted between 2011 and 2015 under the PPL/LER evaluation services IQC, and a survey of 106 local evaluators who were members of the team that conducted these evaluations.  The following are highlights some of the key findings in response to your questions. Based on the meta-analysis, it was found that 80 percent of the evaluations were conducted by teams that include at least one local team member.  In May 2015, 106 of these local evaluators responded to a survey on their experience participating on USAID evaluation teams. In response to the survey, when respondents were asked how they found out about the opportunity to be a member of a USAID evaluation team, 67 percent of respondents said that they were contacted directly by the evaluation firm that was hired by USAID to conduct the evaluation.  

 

Respondents felt that the three most important contributions they made to USAID evaluation teams were their knowledge of the local context in which the evaluation was taking place (39%), expertise in the analysis and interpretation of data (36%), and expertise in the sector in which the evaluation was conducted (25%). While local evaluators are making contirbutions in these areas, over 80% of those surveyed, indicated they needed additional support for them to effectively participate as USAID evaluation team members. When asked in which areas additional support was needed, the top three areas mentioned were data analysis (31%), report writing (22%), and use of quantitative methods (19%).  These areas in which support is needed suggests some of the capacity building needs that Missions may consider supporting, to further strengthen the skills of local evaluators to effectively participate in external evaluation teams conducting USAID evaluations. 

                                                         - Winston J. Allen

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David Ratliff | United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Jan 28, 2016
Hi Cindy, when writing the Scope of Work and developing a solicitation for an evaluation, be sure to include requirements for a local evaluator to sit on the team--if that's what you really want. You could even make the local evaluator position one of the key personnel in order to have more control and make sure that person meets your requirements. There's a great video that was done of an evaluation in the Philippines that captures some great lessons in using local evaluators. http://usaidlearninglab.org/library/evaluating-growth-equity-mindanao-3-program
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