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Feed the Future Learning Agenda Development

By Tania Tam

Continue reading the blog post on the Agrilinks Blog

“It’s All About M&E” blog series gives you a peek into Feed the Future M&E. In a previous M&E post, I discussed the Feed the Future Learning Agenda and received questions about how this was developed. This post addresses these questions. We hope you bookmark us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Post your comments on what we can do to make this more useful for you!

In 2011, USAID launched an ambitious reform effort—USAID FORWARD—which includes vital reforms for strengthening monitoring and evaluation. USAID has subsequently developed an Evaluation Policy to ensure systematic monitoring and evaluation of impact in all program design, budgeting, and strategy work.

As written in the policy:

“Evaluation provides the information and analysis that prevents mistakes from being repeated, and that increases the chance that future investments will yield even more benefits than past investments. While it must be embedded within a context that permits evidence-based decision making, and rewards learning and candor more than superficial success stories, the practice of evaluation is fundamental to the Agency’s future strength.”

Accordingly, USAID plans to devote approximately 3 percent of total program dollars to independent external evaluation. We emphasize both qualitative and quantitative assessments to address both rigor and richness of data.

In June 2011, USAID’s Bureau of Food Security and IFPRI held a consultative meeting as part of a rigorousprocess to form the Learning Agenda (pdf) with stakeholders from USG agencies, USAID missions, universities, research centers, NGOs, think-tanks, and the private sector. This meeting explored practices and methodologies in impact evaluation around the six themes of the Learning Agenda.

Feed the Future aims to use impact evaluations to examine, for example, the most cost-effective approaches for promoting technology adoption—one of the themes of the Learning Agenda.

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