A New Evidence Localization Initiative at USAID

By: Center for Global Development | May 2023 | Blog



We’ve long been big fans of using evaluations and evidence to inform development policy and programming. CGD recently convened a working group of policymakers and experts from over 20 countries to reflect on progress in measuring development impact and chart an agenda to enhance the policy value and use of evidence, with a focus on impact evaluation. Recommendations in the working group’s final report underscored the value of locally immersed researchers leading on evidence production—with the goal of generating evidence that is more relevant and likely to be used to inform policies and programs. So we’re excited about USAID’s new Evidence Localization Initiative. Even amid growing attention focused on advancing locally led development, evaluation and evidence are often left out of the conversation.

But under a new Memorandum of Understanding, USAID, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and CGD plan to partner in exploring locally led evaluation and evidence generation approaches, with an initial focus in sub-Saharan Africa. An opportunity to advance evidence-informed policymaking and locally led development, this collaborative endeavor will seek to engage an array of African-led organizations and complement related efforts and opportunities in the evidence-informed policymaking space.

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