Student Reports

Spring 2019

Professors Douglas Besharov, Douglas Call, and Carl DeLorenzo


In Spring 2019, students worked with Catholic Relief Services, Social Impact, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the World Bank. Students performed a wide variety of analyses, including impact evaluation design, needs assessment, performance measure development, policy analysis, process evaluation, and research synthesis.

The following are the final projects prepared by the students. They are listed in order of clients.

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International

World Bank

1. Cost of Exclusion in Uruguay. Over the past decade, Uruguay has exhibited strong and inclusive growth. Even though numbers show improvement in poverty alleviation, there is evidence of differential in poverty incidence by race, age group, sex, and place of residence. Minorities in Uruguay account for a small proportion of the total population, studies have highlighted the presence of barriers based on race and ethnicity that restrict upward economic mobility. The World Bank is interested in measuring the cost of exclusion of certain groups of population from the job market on Uruguay’s economy, and what are the benefits to the economy if these individuals were to enter the job market. To measure the cost of exclusion in the afro-descent population in Uruguay, the project aims to conduct a literature review to identify feasible methodologies and select the best one keeping in mind the data available on Uruguay. The analysis will respond the research question What is the best methodology to measure the cost of exclusion in afro-descent population in Uruguay? And focuses on three dimensions of exclusion: disability, gender, and ethnicity-racial gaps in Uruguay, and estimate the macroeconomic cost of exclusion on the society.

Paper Presentation

Private Non-Profit

Catholic Relief Service

2. Environmental Policy in the Shelter and Settlement Sector. Global initiatives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are being translated into policy and practice by some governments, donors, and agencies but there is a lack of common commitment or direction in terms of how this translates to humanitarian action. This study examines existing environmental policy and how this is currently applied to the Shelter and Settlement sector by both humanitarian and donor organizations. In addition, it explores some of the drivers and barriers to implementation of environmental protection in humanitarian response. It is intended as a fact-finding initiative the results of which may be used to help develop the foundation of knowledge that can be utilized for future environmental policy initiatives at CRS and other humanitarian organizations.

Paper Presentation

3. Small Farm Conferences, Needs Assessment and Best Practices for Implementation of Small Farm Conferences in East Africa. The F2F Program, which is funded by USAID and implemented by CRS, was established to promote sustainable economic growth, food security and agricultural development in developing regions across the world. the F2F staff wants to establish a dynamic model that can be implemented across all of their participant regions that is also self-funded. The following report is the result of research that was conducted to determine a SFC model that will achieve the desired impacts, as defined by the CRS staff, while also being financially sustainable. Using the outcomes of past conferences, I developed a set of recommendations and best practices that can be used by the country directors during the planning and execution stages of future conferences.

Paper Presentation

Social Impact

4. Ex-Post and Impact Evaluations in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector An investigation of commonly-used methodologies and tools. This research supported the design of an ex-post evaluation of the Strengthening Communities through Integrated Programming (SCIP) project that was implemented in Zambézia province, Mozambique from 2009 to 2015. The evaluation questions were developed after a review and analysis of project documents. The questions seek to understand the sustainability of the program’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) outcomes four years after project close. To determine the methodology, a research review of WASH sector evaluations was conducted and methodologies and data collection tools scored using quality and relevance criteria developed by the researcher. Analysis of results was supplemented with comments from evaluation experts collected in investigative interviews. Commonly used methodologies for WASH sector evaluations included difference-in-difference, simple difference, simple post-only, and simple pre-post comparison. Commonly used data collection tools included document review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, structured observation, and water quality testing. The recommended methodology for the SCIP ex-post evaluation is a simple post-only that uses document review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, structured observation, and water quality testing.

Paper Presentation