NDIGD to lead long-term impact evaluations of USAID development projects

by Luis Ruuska

Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) has received more than $1 million, with additional funding being determined, from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to lead a collaborative partnership of five organizations charged with conducting retrospective long-term impact evaluations of completed USAID projects. The project is called Expanding the Reach of Impact Evaluation (ERIE) and will help guide decision making at USAID.

Partner organizations include AidData, the Center for Effective Global Action, the Center for Research Computing at Notre Dame, Geo-Spatial Impact Evaluation and Mathematica Policy Research.

ERIE is part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) Program in USAID’s Global Development Lab. Through MERLIN, USAID collaborates with partners like NDIGD to identify, design and test cutting-edge solutions to more effectively understand and measure the impacts of development programs.

NDIGD researchers include lead Danice Brown, monitoring and evaluation specialist; Tom Hare, program director; and Tom Purekal, program manager.

“Our experts will be using new and innovative research designs and taking advantage of available data sources — including satellite imagery, mobile and administrative data — to look back at projects completed in the last five or 10 years,” said Brown. “We hope that understanding the long-term impact of USAID activities will help guide the agency’s priorities and strategy moving forward.”

Retrospective impact evaluations will be conducted across various sectors and regions, including environment and sustainability, education, health, agriculture and food security.

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development — an integral part of the new Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame — promotes human development and dignity among people worldwide through applied innovations, impact evaluation, education and training that help build just and equitable societies.

Contact: Luis Ruuska, communications specialist, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, lruuska@nd.edu