CIDA Learns: Lessons from Evaluations 2011-2012

Table of Contents


About Evaluation

Evaluations are a tool for managers to review achievements, learn from experience, be accountable, and make better decisions on the basis of evidence.

Evaluation at CIDA

All Government of Canada departments, including CIDA, are required to evaluate all direct program spending over a five-year period. For CIDA, this means evaluating some $15 billion in programming. CIDA programs are evaluated against both CanadianFootnote 1 criteria such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and economy; and internationalFootnote 2 criteria, which add sustainability and impact. Operationally, CIDA’s Evaluation Division evaluates CIDA programs and provides support to branch-led evaluations of specific projects. CIDA’s evaluation function is one of the strongest in the Government of Canada.

About this Report

Lessons drawn from evaluations can improve understanding of what constitutes good development, and what works and what does not, for both CIDA staff and partners who design and implement international development projects. Incorporating these lessons into our operations will also give Canadian taxpayers better value for their tax dollars.

This first report presents a set of key lessons distilled from a sample of evaluation reports completed in 2011–2012 organized according to themes that emerged from our review. Setting a one-year review time frame ensures our information is new and allows us to provide timely feedback to CIDA.

For this report, we reviewed 19 evaluations (each summarized in the annex) covering a broad range of CIDA programs and projects: 12 covering Geographic Programs Branch, 4 covering Multilateral and Global Programs Branch, 2 covering Partnerships with Canadians Branch, and the Agency-wide Review of Evidence of the Effectiveness of CIDA’s Grants and Contributions. We analyzed the evaluations to identify lessons, and further analyzed the lessons to identify the most relevant factors for CIDA. Focus group discussions helped pinpoint relevant issues.

This Year’s Lessons

The metaphor of a road trip encapsulates lessons identified from this year’s evaluation reports:

  1. Plan before leaving on a trip, and make adjustments during the trip for road conditions and traffic.
  2. Travel with others to enrich your trip and avoid pitfalls along the way.
  3. As you drive, look for the proper exit, and move into position to take it.
  4. Focus on the journey, not just the destination.

CIDA’s Next Challenge: Resilience

One cross-Agency issue that emerged from this year’s evaluations is the issue of resilience. Building resilience protects the gains from CIDA’s investments over the years, and is also more costeffective than rebuilding.

In Conclusion

In the business of development, CIDA and its partners work together toward shared goals—a journey together. By inviting us to learn from our successes and to seek out opportunities for improvement, this report aims to make that journey as well marked, swift, and successful as possible.

Caroline Leclerc,
CIDA’s Head of Evaluation

Lessons Learned in 2011-2012

1. Map the route and adjust for road conditions

Use established tools to seize opportunities and address risks before, during, and after implementation

Although the evaluations reviewed are generally positive in their assessment of performance and the results achieved, they also point to some ongoing challenges with design, performance management, and coordination of projects and programs. This finding applies even though most projects undergo a lengthy review prior to approval. The review aims to ensure that investments are aligned with local needs and Canadian priorities, design is adequate, results are sustainable and measurable, and progress and expenditures are appropriately reported.

Plan investments with specific outcomes

When specific and measurable outcomes are not clearly defined, performance is harder to measure, risks can be overlooked, and projects are not as effective as they could be.

Justice sector (SAJEA)Footnote 3 and Nepal peacebuildingFootnote 4 evaluations reiterate the importance of setting clearly defined performance-based targets. Another evaluation (ILAAP)Footnote 5 notes that desired outcomes should be clearly defined in consultation with partners, and recommends holding a single point of contact responsible for the coordination and achievement of results.

In Honduras, CIDA adopted a flexible strategy with multiple aid-delivery channels (project- and program-based approaches) to mitigate risks. That strategy helped avoid a complete interruption in delivery during the 2009 political crisis. In contrast, donors, including CIDA, enthusiastically embarked on the Education for All pooled fund before presentday risk-management practices and guidance on program-based approaches. This experience taught donors to ensure that adequate governance and institutional arrangements were in place before embarking on program-based approaches.)Footnote 6

An evaluation in Sri Lanka (LIFT2)Footnote 7 goes a step further, and notes that strategic planning and awareness building about opportunities during the design phase can result in a better connection between activities. LIFT2 also notes that identifying indicators (notably gender-specific indicators) at the planning stage is much better than revisiting indicators during the project. The importance of strategic planning was echoed by the World Food Programme (WFP) reviewFootnote 8, which also noted the importance of proper targeting, a customized design based on strategic choices, and the establishment of clear objectives and prioritization.

Adjust along the way to improve performance

Several evaluations recommended making adjustments along the way to address management challenges and to adapt to an evolving context. Managing projects to ensure performance can be difficult, and not extending projects to consolidate gains can reduce project effectiveness and sustainability.

CIDA’s long-running support to PASEIFootnote 9 achieved results, but gains were limited by poor performance management. Its evaluation recommended that CIDA ensure that projects utilize results-basedmanagement tools such as logic models, performance measurement frameworks, and risk analyses; otherwise, projects may fail to learn lessons drawn from experience. The evaluation also recommended developing a sufficiently long time horizon to achieve and sustain gains: it noted that important results were achieved after the project was extended, allowing significant prior gains to be consolidated. Similarly, LIFT2 noted that the time frame for project implementation was not long enough to achieve the transformative change envisioned.

The grants and contributions (Gs&Cs) reviewFootnote 10 puts it more bluntly, noting that relevance is not static, and that country programs and activities should be reviewed in light of changes to the local context and the strategies of the recipient country and other donors. This finding was echoed in the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) evaluation,Footnote 11 which recommended revisiting and clarifying performance-measurement indicators, both to ensure that indicators are measurable aswell as clarifying performance expectations.

Discuss or coordinate efforts for better results

Dialogue and coordination can pave the way to effective design and successful readjustments. Evaluations note that success in a complex environment often requires participation from multiple participants, including governments, civil society and donors, all of which is supported by dialogue and coordination.

The Gs&Cs review notes that coordination is particularly beneficial in fragile states, but requires flexibility, harmonization, risk analysis, risk tolerance, and experienced staff. Some other examples from this year’s evaluations where dialogue and coordination are useful include:

2. Journey together

Build and strengthen relationships to improve relevance, performance, and sustainability

Evaluations indicate that strong relationships are associated with improved relevance, performance, and sustainability of results. Building and strengthening relationships can help improve effectiveness by dealing with contextual challenges. For example, in a fragile or conflict-affected area, relationships built between various stakeholders can reduce vulnerabilities related to the political situation.

The Gs&Cs review notes several examples of effectiveness from building and strengthening relationships. In the case of Bangladesh, CIDA’s leadership on gender equality and partnership with civil society and government achieved substantive results. In Ethiopia, dialogue and coordination with the government led to local ownership of povertyreduction priorities and the government investment necessary to sustain developmental progress.

The Honduras country program evaluation noted that in a country where governance and public administration capacity are weak, working with local stakeholders allowed CIDA to gain in-depth knowledge of local issues and develop a relationship of trust that favoured the Agency as a whole. The WFP review echoed this finding, noting that it was able to achieve objectives by working in partnership and in a participatory manner with host governments, other UN agencies, and local communities.

Other examples where strong relationships mattered are:

LIFT2 notes that naming appropriate contacts and service providers to address specific issues along with training and information about how to best articulate needs should serve as a model for other projects.

3. Look for the exit

Plan to phase out, ensure staff capacity, and enable horizontal learning

In addition to achieving the expected outcomes in the first place, initiatives should aim to sustain outcomes. This focus on sustainability requires upfront planning, supporting partners to develop necessary capacity, and enabling horizontal learning and support mechanisms.

Plan and implement exit strategies

Several evaluations, including those for the WFP and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),Footnote 16 note that strong phase-out plans and the integration of sustainability into project design facilitate the sustainability of results. The RMKD evaluation noted that the presence of an exit strategy from the beginning of implementation informed the medium-term thinking of project management and effective execution of plans. Still, the evaluation noted that having an exit strategy was not enough: the project had to deal with unforeseen contingencies and essentially had to extend elements of its intervention to ensure sustainability.

The Honduras evaluation noted that in the period examined by the evaluation, contextual challenges outside of CIDA’s control reduced overall sustainability. The most sustainable projects were those that aimed to build capacity and human capital, with explicit phase-out plans.

Build capacity

Exit strategies and program design must aim to support partner capacity to ensure results are sustainable. The WFP review noted that capacitybuilding efforts, particularly training, were a means to develop institutional and community capacity for sustainability. The review also noted that WFP itself faced weaknesses in managing its capacity, specifically technical expertise and staff turnover. The Nepal peacebuilding evaluation touched upon the importance of developing staff capacity and minimizing staff turnover in improving results. It suggested tracking partner capacity from the outset and adopting a differentiated strategy based on partner capacity. The SAJEA evaluation noted that the coordination of national working groups required both will and capacity.

Promote peer-to-peer learning

Supporting learning between peers can help provide capacity and support after the project ends. The Nepal peacebuilding evaluation noted that the project’s “peace networks” gave various community organizations the chance to interact and learn from each other. Weaker and more remote partners benefited from exposure to more capable partners. Other examples that echo these lessons are:

4. Focus on the journey, not just the destination

Decentralize decisions and delegate for better results, and create mechanisms for organizational improvement

Evaluations note that decentralizing decision making to the field allows programming to be more responsive, efficient, and effective. Decentralization can also enable organizational empowerment, learning, and evolution both within and outside CIDA. Finally, decentralization can empower both CIDA staff and partners to address the challenges raised earlier in this report: making better adjustments to the context, building and strengthening relationships, and planning and implementing exit strategies.

One objective of decentralization is flexibility. The flexibility of staff concerning elements such as program activities, timing, or even partner organizations, allows for responsive and effective management, as noted in the WFP review. Flexibility can lower costs by allowing innovative solutions to emerge and by reducing administrative overhead. Flexibility can also improve relevance.

Another objective of decentralization can be to enable organizational empowerment, learning, and evolution. Empowered stakeholders can contribute to organizational improvement and hold their management (or government bodies) accountable. This empowerment provides an opportunity for improvement among both CIDA and its partners, and is not only in line with commitments from the Paris Declaration and other summits, but draws together several strands of CIDA’s work.

Be flexible to improve efficiency and effectiveness

The WFP review noted that the use of local resources was an innovative solution to logistical challenges and resulted in greater efficiency overall. By identifying opportunities for greater local procurement, the WFP supported local economic growth while addressing its humanitarian mandate. Fundamentally, this approach would not work without delegating decision-making power to field staff, while following organizational parameters and policies to ensure accountability.

The ILAAP evaluation noted that on-site and online training could reduce costs and increase reach while reducing travel time for participants. The Gs&Cs review noted that transaction costs can be reduced only if CIDA plans and manages its participation in joint donor activities strategically.

The Peru evaluationFootnote 18 noted that small, responsive, flexible short-term projects are useful complements to long-term projects because they allow innovation and experimentation, as well as targeted and timely interventions. Small projects also provide low-cost, low-risk opportunities for developing learning and innovation clusters and for producing synergy and results that are greater than the sum of the parts.

Be flexible to improve relevance

Several evaluations highlighted the importance of making decisions flexibly and closer to beneficiaries. These include:

Enable organizational improvement

Evaluations noted the importance of incorporating feedback effectively to guide the organization. This feedback can come from staff, partners, or other stakeholders.

The MI evaluation suggested that a review and clarification of roles at various levels of centralization would be welcome, and might provide opportunities for field staff to provide input into the organization and to be heard.

The OSS evaluation noted the importance of a responsive governance structure in a regional body to implement actions and respond to member needs. The SAJEA evaluation highlighted the importance of decision-making authority for the working groups created by the project to be successful.

The evaluation of CIDA’s humanitarian assistanceFootnote 21 expands this lesson to include CIDA by highlighting the importance of mechanisms to systematically integrate information and share lessons learned to improve effectiveness at headquarters and in the field.

Looking forward: the importance of resilience

One cross-Agency issue that emerged from this year’s evaluations is the issue of resilience. The evaluation of CIDA’s humanitarian assistance recommended that CIDA develop a systematic, integrated approach to supporting prevention and risk reduction, as well as recovery and transition to development. The 2012 OECD DAC Peer Review of CanadaFootnote 22 echoed this finding, suggesting improvements to Canadian efforts in building resilience and supporting post-crisis recovery.

Resilience refers to the ability of individuals, households, governments, regions, and systems to mitigate, resist, absorb, and recover from the effects of shocks and disasters in a timely, sustainable, and efficient manner.

Building resilience before a disaster strikes has the potential to save more lives, better use resources, and guard against future crises. Prevention is often less costly than disaster relief and response, and building resilience can provide a lasting response to the cycle of shocks and disasters that regularly affect particularly vulnerable countries and regions.

At any level of intervention, effective preparation can mitigate the impact of these events. Risk management and systematic planning for disaster risk reduction are key elements of preparation. CIDA could better integrate resilience into its investments by systematically identifying evolving risks and by responding quickly in response to early warning signals.

The humanitarian-assistance evaluation describes a flexible mechanism that can respond as needed. The Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) is a development program that includes a risk-financing mechanism to provide emergency support to families. Although CIDA supports the PSNP overall, it is not able to support the risk financing mechanism, which integrates humanitarian and development programming, because it falls outside the mandates of both CIDA’s humanitarian assistance and development programs. The World Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development fund the risk-financing mechanism.

Each of the lesson areas identified in this report also offers an opportunity for CIDA to build resilience. CIDA should seize opportunities and identify risks, build relationships and work collaboratively, prepare phase-out and contingency strategies, support partner capacity building and learning, and decentralize decision-making authority to allow for more flexible, efficient, and self-governed responses.

Fundamentally, sustainable development builds the foundation for resilience: improving levels of social and economic development reduces vulnerability to shocks and disasters.

CIDA notes in its 2011/2012 Departmental Performance Report that it is “continuing to work on developing a comprehensive and holistic approach to disaster risk reduction and recovery situations.” The Departmental Performance Report also noted examples from other CIDA evaluations and studies of the “need to focus on long-term strategies and building resilience.”


Evaluations give us an opportunity to improve our policies and programs on the basis of what we have learned.

This report is the very first of its kind at CIDA. It attempts to identify and summarize lessons from evaluations completed over the past fiscal year. The notable successes and challenges revealed by these evaluations relate to the common experience of working together toward a common goal in a complex environment. Such work requires good planning, management of contingent circumstances, and collaboration among multiple individuals and organizations.

One-page summaries of all the evaluations reviewed are appended. They add context and detail to this narrative.

Adopting the lessons in this report is both an opportunity and a challenge. Future evaluations will have the opportunity to assess the extent to which they have been effectively learned.

Annex: Highlights of Evaluations

Evaluations led by the Evaluation Division


  1. A Review of the Evidence of the Effectiveness of CIDA's Grants and Contributions 2005/06–2010/11


  1. Country Program Evaluation – Ukraine
  2. Evaluation of CIDA’s Regional Inter-American Program (2004–2005 to 2009–2010)
  3. Evaluation of CIDA's Peru Program 2005–2010
  4. Honduras Country program Evaluation 2002–2010


  1. Review of the World Food Programme's Humanitarian and Development Effectiveness 2006-2011
  2. Corporate Evaluation of CIDA's Humanitarian Assistance
  3. Review of the United Nations Development Programme's Development Effectiveness

Evaluations led by Program Branches


  1. Nepal Peace Building from Below Project
  2. Sri Lanka Local Initiatives for Tomorrow 2
  3. Ukrainian Civil Service Reform Project
  4. Microfinance Component of the Agricultural Development in Mine-affected Areas of Cambodia (ADMAC) Project
  5. Turquoise Mountain Regenerating the Murad Khane District of Kabul (RMKD)
  6. Projet d’appui à la surveillance épidémiologique intégrée - prolongation (PASÉI 2 – prolongation)
  7. Évaluation conjointe de «l’intervention de Viva Rio dans la zone de bel air» en Haïti – appuyée par l’ACDI, le MAECI/GTSR et NCA
  8. Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS)


  1. Evaluation of the Micronutrient Initiative


  1. Strengthening Access to Justice through Legal Sector Development
  2. International Legislative Audit Assistance Program

Evaluations led by the Evaluation Division

Review of Evidence of the Effectiveness of CIDA's Grants & Contributions 2005-2011

This quantitative and qualitative review of the grants and contributions (Gs&Cs) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) systematically reviewed and analyzed 41 major evaluations completed (between 2005 and 2011) across CIDA’s three main programming channels: bilateral, multilateral, and partnership. The review rated CIDA’s effectiveness along the dimensions of relevance, achievement of objectives, and sustainability, and also explored initiatives undertaken by CIDA over the past few years to improve its effectiveness.

Why conduct this evaluation?

The Treasury Board of Canada is responsible for approving and reviewing the continuation of transfer-payment programs. This review supported the renewal of CIDA’s terms and conditions.

What did the evaluation find?

CIDA’s contributions are relevant and achieve objectives, but sustainability is more of a challenge.

Relevance: All programming was identified as being relevant. Key factors that contribute to relevance are ensuring quality at entry (that is, a beneficiary needs assessment, due diligence, and program design based on analysis and coordination with other donors), alignment with Paris Declaration principles, and continued due diligence during implementation.

Achieving results: CIDA programs and projects generally achieved their objectives. Overall, program objectives were most likely to be achieved when there were good, planned policy engagement and dialogue with partners, and clear statements of expected results and the risks to be managed. Complementarity among CIDA’s funding channels and the use of a mix of funding mechanisms are other factors that contributed to the achievement of objectives.

Sustainability: Sustainability was assessed as being good to average overall, with somewhat lower ratings than the achievement or relevance of objectives. Sustainability was more likely to be achieved if it was planned, and adequate financial and human resources were invested. Sustainability was enhanced by local ownership, commitment, and capacity, and by trust based on understanding needs, capacities, perspectives, mandates, and context.

Crosscutting issues: The integration of crosscutting issues—gender, environment, and governance—was uneven across CIDA programs.

What challenges does CIDA face?
Where is CIDA headed?

Ukraine Country Program Evaluation 2004-2009

In 2004, CIDA responded to Ukraine’s renewed efforts for economic and political reform, following the country’s Orange Revolution. The program focused 95 percent of its funding to support development in two areas reflecting the shared goals of Canada and Ukraine: sustainable economic growth and democratic development. By 2009, CIDA had invested more than $99 million in programs to benefit Ukraine’s 45 million people, making Canada Ukraine’s fourth- largest provider of official development assistance since 2004.

Why conduct this evaluation?

This evaluation assessed the performance and the results achieved by CIDA’s Ukraine Program between 2004 and 2009. The evaluation focused on a sample of 20 projects, representing 57 percent of total program investments.

What did the evaluation find?

The evaluation found CIDA’s Ukraine Program to be highly effective in achieving measurable results and that CIDA’s projects in Ukraine had become models at CIDA, in Ukraine, and internationally.

Relevance: The program’s high relevance to Ukrainian and Canadian priorities reflected its skillful and responsive design. Economic development agricultural projects, for example, achieved such high levels of relevance that the Government of Ukraine requested they continue.

Effectiveness: Ukraine frequently followed through to establish institutions, policies, and laws as a result of CIDA project support, for example in the area of civil service and judicial reform, signalling the projects’ immediate and promising long-term effectiveness.

Sustainability: CIDA stood out among Ukraine’s donors for flexible project design and durations, to allow projects to consolidate gains and build a basis for sustainable results.

Crosscutting themes: Programming efforts in the crosscutting areas of gender equality and the environment and in youth did not achieve expected results. Entrenched social attitudes in Ukraine constrained gains in gender equality. Minimal attention to programming in environment and youth yielded only modest results.

Coherence: The program’s design promoted coordination (termed coherence) with other CIDA and donor projects. Coherence was greater in the portfolio of economic growth projects, but there were more limited opportunities to build coherence among democratic development projects.

The program needs to find more effective entry points to achieve gender equality results, and to devote more sustained attention to environmental sustainability.

Efficiency: Conscientious management of human and financial resources created efficiencies. For example, some projects optimized currency exchange and incorporated local knowledge and skills.

Management principles: The program implemented the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness management principles and realized stakeholder ownership, but only at the project level, in the absence of a Ukrainian national development plan.

Management performance: The program implemented resultsbased management principles, although frequent staff turnover led to some inconsistencies in reporting.

How is the Ukraine Program responding?

Inter-American Regional Country Program Evaluation 2004-2010

The Inter-American Program of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) promotes development in Latin American and Caribbean countries by focusing on regional challenges, such as economic growth and disease. Between 2004 and 2010, it disbursed $242.5 million.

Why conduct this evaluation?

The evaluation assessed the program’s performance and results achieved between 2004 and 2010. It sampled two thirds (66 percent) of program expenditures, totaling $145.5 million.

What did the evaluation find?

The evaluation found a program that brought tangible, longterm development benefits to the region, including the elimination of rubella in the Americas.

Relevance: The program’s aims proved highly relevant to the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 agreed to by United Nations member nations and their allied institutions. More attention, however, to maintaining a strategic focus for the program’s duration will help it achieve greater relevance to the region’s emerging needs. Nonetheless, the program’s focus on health, governance, and the private sector did reflect key regional concerns.

Effectiveness: Concrete benefits in the areas of health and private-sector development demonstrated the program’s effectiveness. The results of various projects are visible both within national governments and in the private sector as stakeholders chose to deploy the skills, tools, strategies, and policies that the program nurtured. Such results did not emerge as clearly in areas related to governance.

Sustainability: The program’s two key partners are the Organization of American States and the Pan American Health Organization. Canada’s participation in these international organizations helps to promote the program’s goals in the long term.

Crosscutting themes: The program met only moderate success promoting two of CIDA’s crosscutting priorities: gender equality and the environment. The program did not monitor the systematic implementation of recommendations from CIDA’s gender and environmental specialists. A few projects, however, made gains in improving gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Coherence: The program is not well known inside CIDA, and connections to other parts of CIDA were established ad hoc. The program’s coordination across various Canadian departments has been functional but underwhelming. One constraint is that the program is often the major Canadian funder, but not the designated government lead on partner interactions.

Efficiency: Health sector efficiency was assessed to be satisfactory, but evaluators were not able to score governance and private sector areas, given the difficulty of assessing institutional effectiveness within the limits of this evaluation.

Management principles: The program performed well in promoting stakeholder ownership as outlined in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Canada is championing aid effectiveness principles by providing flexible funding and by investing in institutional strengthening mechanisms with its key strategic partners.

CIDA’s somewhat guarded approach to dealing with stakeholders while developing its 2010–2015 Regional Development Programming Framework is contrary to the principles of the Paris Declaration.

Performance Management: The program belatedly applied a management framework and the projects’ use of result-based management tools was uneven.

What is next for CIDA’s Inter-American Program?

Peru Country Program Evaluation 2005-2010

In the past forty years, Canadian development assistance in Peru has evolved from a diversified approach to a more focused approach, targeting key sectors in support of the country's national poverty-reduction efforts. Between fiscal years 2005-2006 and 2009-2010, CIDA disbursed a total of $172 million to Peru.

Why Conduct this Evaluation?

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the performance and results achieved through CIDA’s three delivery channels (geographic, partnerships with Canadians and multilateral and global programs) in Peru between 2005 and 2010. The evaluation focused on a sample of 27 projects in Peru, with a total disbursement of $88 million.

CIDA’s Peru Program was rated as highly satisfactory. The evaluation found that CIDA’s decentralized process contributed to this result.

What did the evaluation find?

Education: CIDA’s Peru program made significant progress in education despite the continuing weakness of public institutions, particularly in rural areas. CIDA helped improve the quality of, and access to, education, and strengthened management and administrative capacities. For example, a rural education model developed through the program led to impressive learning improvements in reading and writing for primary school children. However, the results were less satisfactory for early childhood development.

Governance: The program contributed to increased respect for democratic principles, as well as improved accountability and transparency in government and in strategic sectors. For example, the Ombudsman’s office was strengthened and 28 regional offices developed to help citizens access services. There is still room for improvement in CIDA’s governance programming, particularly with respect to policy dialogue and private sector development.

Private Sector Development: The program contributed to improved management of the mining and hydrocarbon industries in Peru and increased transparency. It also explored mechanisms for conflict resolution among stakeholders.

Gender Equality: The program succeeded in reducing gender inequality in education and improving women's capacity for participation in local government decision making and planning. Improvements are still needed in reducing violence against women and increasing their participation in the extractive sector.

Humanitarian Assistance: The program was effective in providing services to the most vulnerable people. It contributed to improved institutional capacities of community organizations and several regional authorities and of the management of municipal water and sanitation services. It also helped create a culture of preparedness and risk prevention. However, issues such as revenue and tax distribution, as well as royalty-sharing arrangements among private companies, the national government, and regional authorities are still problems.

Environment: As a result of CIDA’s strategic environmental integration planning, the program helped improve regulatory frameworks in the public and extractive sectors, supported advocacy campaigns on environmental protection, and promoted environmental sustainability. However, the environment was not adequately addressed in the education sector, and the entire program would benefit from further steps to enhance environmental considerations.

There is still room for improvement in CIDA’s governance programming in Peru, particularly with respect to policy dialogue and private sector development.

What is next for CIDA’s Peru Program?

The Program plans to:

Honduras Country Program Evaluation 2002-2010

In 2002, CIDA identified Honduras as a country prioritized for Canadian official development assistance. By 2010, CIDA’s Honduras Program had disbursed $134.5 million dollars, fostering Honduran ownership of development initiatives at the local, regional, and central levels.

Why conduct this evaluation?

The purpose of this evaluation is to contribute to program improvement and to assess both the program’s performance and delivery mechanisms between 2002 and 2010. The evaluation sampled 26 projects, representing $40 million dollars of total funding.

What did the evaluation find?

The evaluation found a highly relevant and effective program that implemented successful health and food security projects, contributing to CIDA and Honduran aims for poverty reduction.

Relevance — The high relevance of the program’s projects to Honduran realities stemmed from its focus on local and regional projects and partnerships and from the strong alignment between CIDA and Honduran priorities, particularly on the issue of poverty reduction.

Effectiveness — Two key sectors, food security, which includes natural resources management, agriculture, forestry, water andsanitation, and watershed management, and health, successfully achieved their development goals, making them effective, especially in combating Chagas disease and in helping to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among Honduran youth. Honduran targets for basic education, however, were below expectations.

Sustainability — The program successfully implemented initiatives designed to persist after their completion and to sustain the benefits of CIDA’s investment. The inclusion of local stakeholders in CIDA projects assures a legacy of trained and experienced community leaders in Honduras who can use the experience they gained under CIDA’s auspices in other arenas also contributing to sustaining CIDA’s investment.

Crosscutting themes — The program’s activities in CIDA’s areas of priority—gender equality, governance, and environment—termed crosscutting themes, are difficult to assess globally due to the variety of funding mechanisms used to deliver them. They appeared, however, satisfactory.

Coherence — Lack of formal discussions about strategy at the program level resulted in lower levels of coordination—termed coherence—among CIDA branches and Canadian stakeholders. However, the better coherence of the local and regional projects enabled their continuity during the 2009-political crisis in Honduras.

More discussion and consultation among Canadian stakeholders can help improve the program’s lower levels of coherence.

Efficiency — The program operated efficiently overall; local staff created added efficiencies by consolidating their institutional knowledge.

Management principles — The program’s mix of local, regional, and central level projects allowed it to promote Honduran ownership in delivering the aid, in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, when circumstances in Honduras prevented strong ownership by the central government.

Performance management — Developing and applying performance measurement and risk management frameworks remains an ongoing process.

What is next for the Honduras Program?

Humanitarian and Development Effectiveness Review of WFP 2006-2011

The World Food Programme (WFP) is both a humanitarian and development United Nations agency. It is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, it distributes food where it is needed to save the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of the emergency passes, it focuses on development, using food to help communities rebuild their lives.

Why Conduct this Review?

The purpose of this review is to provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the humanitarian and development (H&D) effectiveness of WFP for use by Canada in its decision-making regarding resourcing WFP. The information can also be useful for other stakeholders. The review was based on the content of 52 WFP evaluations published between 2006 and 2011.

WFP programs are highly relevant to their contexts.

What did the evaluation find?

Program interruptions hindered success in the area of efficiency.

What is next for CIDA?

Evaluation of CIDA’s Humanitarian Assistance 2005-2011

CIDA’s humanitarian assistance aims to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters by providing appropriate, timely, and effective assistance.

Why Conduct this Evaluation?

Between 2005 and 2011, CIDA provided more than $2.7 billion in humanitarian assistance. This evaluation provides an oversight of this spending and examines how to enhance the relevance, design, delivery, and performance of our assistance.

CIDA’s contributions help save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity

What Does the Evaluation Recommend?

Development Effectiveness Review of the UNDP 2005-2011

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network, supporting national processes to accelerate the progress of human development, with a view to eradicate poverty.

Why Conduct this Evaluation?

The purpose of this review is to provide an independent, evidence-based assessment of the development effectiveness of UNDP. The review synthesized 55 evaluations that concentrated on UNDP programming between 2005 and 2011.

Reviewed evaluations report that UND programs are relevant to the development context in which they operate.

What did the evaluation find?

Reviewed evaluations also report that UNDP’s program efficiency requires improvement.

What is next for CIDA?

Evaluations led by Program Branches

Nepal Peacebuilding from Below Project Evaluation - 2008 2012

Why evaluate PBB?

PBB was a $3.05-million, three-year project that ended in 2012. It aimed to bring development opportunities to communities in conflict zones that addressed the root causes of conflicts and promoted reconciliation. Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN)—one of Nepal’s largest domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—implemented the PBB, working through the intermediary of 150 community-based people’s organizations (CPBOs) and other stakeholders located in two hilly districts of the Eastern Development Region of Nepal.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

CIDA commissioned the summative evaluation for general accountability purposes and to gauge the merits of funding similar projects in the future.

Unique programming element

PBB represents an innovation for CIDA in that it was implemented by a local executing agency (RRN) rather than a Canadian one.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?

Sri Lanka Local Initiatives for Tomorrow Phase 2 Evaluation 2008 2013

Why evaluate Local Initiatives for Tomorrow – Phase 2 (LIFT2)?

The $4.65-million, five-year LIFT2 project aimed to transform communities and livelihoods in 150 of the poorest and most socially marginalized villages in Sri Lanka’s war-affected areas of Jaffna, Polonnaruwa, and Batticaloa by building the capacities of local initiative groups (LIGs) and 190 of their respective communitybased organizations.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

This midterm evaluation assessed the program’s first two cycles with a view to informing the project’s final 18-month cycle. In particular, the evaluation assessed the design and implementation plan of the final cycle for its appropriateness to the new political and economic landscape in Sri Lanka. The evaluation will also inform future CIDA programming in Sri Lanka.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?

Ukraine CS E 2006- HRM Project - valuation 2012

Why evaluate the Ukraine Civil Service Human Resources Management project?

The Ukraine Civil Service Human Resources Management (UCSHRM) reform project was designed and implemented by the Canadian Bureau for International Education. The main goal of the UCS-HRM project was to promote transparent and accountable governance in Ukraine through targeted reforms of the central government’s human resources management system based on European standards established by Support for Improvement in Governance and Management (SIGMA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The project’s design and implementation ran from 2004 to 2012, with a budget of approximately $5.8 million.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

This summative evaluation documented the project’s achieved results, reported on its progress, and assessed its likely outcomes with a view to informing CIDA management about the project’s challenges and opportunities, and lessons learned.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?

ADMAC Project Evaluation 2006-2009

Why evaluate the Microfinance Component of the Agricultural Development in Mine-affected Areas of Cambodia Project?

Between 2006 and 2009, CIDA disbursed $5 million to the Microfinance Component of the Agricultural Development in Mine-affected Areas of Cambodia project through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Project Support Unit.

Overall, the project installed 34 agricultural cooperatives in Cambodia, benefiting nearly 5,000 farmers by focusing on strengthened production, better access to financing services, and the provision of training and technical support. Two key components of the project provided specialized direction: the production start-up program component supplied technical support and a revolving loan fund and the agricultural microfinance component supported the establishment of a series of community savings and credit groups.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

The evaluation assessed the performance of CIDAfunded agricultural cooperatives, which were part of the project and which specialized in microfinance services.

Unique programming elements

This was the first project to link agricultural development with mine mitigation.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?

PASÉi 2 Extension Project Evaluation 2003-2011

Why evaluate the PASÉi 2 Extension

Between 2003 and 2011, CIDA invested a total of $18 million dollars in the Integrated Epidemiological Surveillance–Phase II project (PASÉi 2). Executed by the Centre for International Cooperation in Health and Development, it helped the ministries of health in Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger implement an earlywarning system for epidemiological surveillance (an aspect of disease control). The project’s successes led a 2007 CIDA evaluation to recommend extending it in time to consolidate gains and ensure their viability in national institutions.

The extension project helped participant countries build disease-control capacity for the long term by supporting training programs, supplying equipment, and aiding coordination and harmonization activities. It also adopted a regional, rather than a national, focus—responding to the reality that diseases do not recognize political borders—to promote the standardization of practices to allow regional cooperation.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

The 2011 evaluation of the PASÉi 2 Extension Project assessed its achievements in the participant countries and measured them against the extension project’s aims. In particular, this evaluation assessed the project’s incorporation of the recommendations from the 2007 evaluation.

What key lessons were learned?
What were the key conclusions and recommendations?

Viva Rio Project Evaluation 2006-2010

Why evaluate the Viva Rio project?

Since 2002, Viva Rio, a Brazilian non-governmental organization (NGO), has helped regenerate the embattled and poor neighborhood of Bel Air in Port-auPrince, Haiti.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Norwegian Church Aid NGO contributed independent, but interlocking, projects totaling $11 million (excluding emergency aid) to the $12-million Viva Rio initiative.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

The funding partners commissioned the present evaluation, which covers four years (2006–2010). It takes stock of the program’s lessons learned, and assesses the partners’ decision-making and funding processes.

Unique programming elements

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti took a heavy toll on Bel Air. As a result, Viva Rio suspended planned initiatives and instead met urgent needs for humanitarian aid.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?

The evaluation revealed an effective program that achieved concrete benefits for the neighborhood and its residents under very adverse conditions.

However, the evaluation made several recommendations in order to assure the program’s longer-term success. The evaluation recommended that Viva Rio:

The evaluation also recommended that the funding partners:

What key lessons were learned?

Sahara and Sahel Observatory Evaluation 2005-2010

Why evaluate the Sahara and Sahel Observatory?

Between 2005 and 2010, CIDA participated in the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) programming, disbursing $3 million through its West Africa Program and its West and Central Africa Regional Program to support the OSS’s role as a neutral environmental forum promoting sustainable practices relevant to a region prone to drought and desertification.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

CIDA aims to build the lessons learned from this evaluation into future programming for the OSS and to share the evaluation results with OSS partners.

Unique programming elements

Considerations for a new OSS proposal for CIDA funding makes this evaluation very timely.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?

The evaluation returned general recommendations for the OSS and specific recommendations for CIDA’s internal programming.

General recommendations for the OSS:
Recommendations for CIDA:
What key lessons were learned?

The evaluation derived one key lesson learned from assessing the program’s performance:

Evaluation of the Micronutrient Initiative 2008-2014

Why evaluate the Micronutrient Initiative (MI)?

Between 2008 and 2014, CIDA disbursed $150 million to the MI, an international non-governmental organization based in Ottawa. CIDA’s grant funding supports MI programming to helping to eliminate micronutrient malnutrition. MI does this by stimulating and supporting partner countries through strategic partnerships and global leadership in nutrition and micronutrients (MN).

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

This evaluation examined results between 2008 and 2011 to satisfy a funding requirement for a midterm evaluation. The evaluation also identified lessons learned and provided recommendations for the current grant period and for potential areas of growth for the organization.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?
Next steps

Strengthening Access to Justice through Legal Sector Development

Pourquoi évaluer le Projet d’amélioration de l’accès à la justice par le développement du secteur juridique?

Le Projet d’amélioration de l’accès à la justice par le développement du secteur juridique a été mis en œuvre sur une période de trois ans, et il devait initialement représenter la première de deux phases. L’ACDI a contribué à hauteur de 2,9 millions de dollars au projet de 3,9 millions de dollars qui a été réalisé par l’Association du Barreau canadien (ABC) entre 2009 et 2012.

Quels étaient l’objet et la portée de l’évaluation?

Cette évaluation a permis de documenter les progrès réalisés dans le cadre du programme de développement du secteur juridique et d’évaluer les résultats obtenus dans le cadre de la nouvelle approche en trois étapes qui a été conçue par l’ABC. Les conclusions et les recommandations tirées de l’évaluation permettront à l’ABC et à ses partenaires locaux d’orienter les efforts continus qu’ils déploient pour améliorer leur travail, en particulier celui qui est lié à l’accès à la justice pour les groupes marginalisés.

Éléments uniques du programme

Le programme a concentré les trois quarts de ses initiatives en Afrique de l’Est (Kenya, Tanzanie, Ouganda et Éthiopie), et a permis la réalisation d’activités visant à favoriser la collaboration entre les intervenants.

Les autres initiatives du programme ont été réalisées en Asie du Sud-Est (Cambodge, République démocratique populaire du Laos et Vietnam), où la profession juridique est moins bien représentée et où le système juridique en général est moins développé.

Quelles sont les principales conclusions et recommandations?

International Legislative Audit Assistance Program Evaluation 2007-2012

Why evaluate ILAAP?

Between 2007 and 2012, CIDA provided $8.26 million dollars to the Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation’s International Legislative Audit Assistance Program (ILAAP). The ILAAP aimed to improve governance and accountability for developing countries by helping to reduce corruption and to ensure the effective use of public funds. Principally, the funds helped build the capacity of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in partner countries that will oversee public expenditures and contribute to governmental accountability and transparency.

What was the object and scope of the evaluation?

This evaluation assessed the ILAAP’s performance, measured its effectiveness, and identified results achieved midway through the program’s term. The recommendations and lessons learned will identify alternative ways to meet objectives and serve as a guide for subsequent programming cycles.

What were the key conclusions and recommendations?
What key lessons were learned?
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