Student Reports

Spring 2018

Professors Douglas Besharov, Douglas Call, and Carl DeLorenzo

In Spring 2018, students worked with Anza Entrepreneurs, Catholic Relief Services, Femme International, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Totohealth Tanzania, 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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Federal Government

US Agency for International Development

1. Assessing the Quality of Evaluative Studies: An Investigation for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Team. This investigation systematically identifies questions which readers of development program evaluations and similar reports can use in assessing the quality of such reports. The primary methods used were document analysis and expert or key information interviews of USAID Bureau for Foods Security Monitoring Evaluation and Learning experts. Based on these information sources, questions were drafted and then assessed against performance measures criteria. Ultimately, ten questions are recommended. This concise question checklist meets audiences needs for a concise assessment guidance tool. This checklist can serve as the foundation for the development of a quality rubric.

Paper Presentation


Inter-American Development Bank

2. Education Financing in China and Implementation Evaluation. This research project mainly investigates two research questions: how Chinese government finances education and how these policies were implemented. This research is motivated by the Inter-American Development Bank, which is currently working with organizations in Brazil to design a proposal for the new FUNDEB (Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Teacher Appreciation). FUNDEB is a federally mandated redistributive program intended to reduce regional inequalities in per-pupil spending in Brazil. The current legislation of FUNDEB is valid until 2020 when the Brazilian government will review the program's goals and regulations. To inform the design of this proposal, the IDB will produce at least 3 case studies of funding formulas in federal countries. The purpose of the whole IADB project is to inform the design of FUNDEB, to learn from other federal countries’ experience. Because many archival documents only exist in Chinese and China is a federal country which finances K-12 education with government funding, the IDB agreed that China would be a good case study for this project.

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3. Greening Ports and Maritime Logistics in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Toolkit.The advancing global demand for mitigating negative environmental impact while safeguarding trade activities and economic growth has highlighted the need for countries to develop environmentally-friendly practices to remain competitive in the international market. As a crucial element of international trade, being economically efficient should no longer be the sole objective of ports and maritime logistics. Instead, ports must meet both economic and environmental demands. As a policy advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) seeks to provide member countries with the tools to achieve development in a sustainable and climate-friendly way. This study presents a toolkit to evaluate the environmental performance of port operations and logistic chains in LAC.

Paper Presentation

World Bank

4. Cybersecurity in the context of Financial Market Infrastructures. This paper attempts to identify and categorize cyber risk in the context of financial market infrastructures, by using a Cyber Risk Analysis Framework proposed by Dr. Charles Harry with whom I work at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), to understand the various points of vulnerability in an organization like the Central Bank of a country. The focus is on developing countries, where there are the added concerns that arise due to limited infrastructure and insufficient technical literacy, which also playing a role in increasing the risk of cyber threats. To begin a larger conversation around systemic cyber risk, this paper identifies some key vulnerabilities and potential single points of failure in the financial service sector. The hope is that a deeper understanding of the potential consequences will help governments and the central banks refine their risk management strategies, identify new areas for investment, determine the partnerships that need to be pursued, and build and strengthen their resilience in general.

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5. Impact Assessment of Education to Work Transition Program in Palestine. This report evaluates the impact of Education to work transition program (E2WTP) of the World Bank in Palestine. The gap between skills and output from education in tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) and demands of labor market is leading to a rise in unemployment among educated youth in Palestine. The World Bank is assisting the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Palestine Government in bridging this gap through Education to work transition program. E2WTP provides support through its program activities for graduates of TEIs to help them attain employment such as training graduates, fostering collaborations with employers and streamlining data collection. The overall purpose of this study is to understand if E2WTP is responding to the demands of the labor market in Palestine.

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Anza Entrepreneurs

6. Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Anza Accelerator Program in Tanzania. This report is mainly about designing a proper and informative monitoring and evaluation framework to track not only the economic performance of the Anza Accelerator social entrepreneur development program in employment creation, customer growth, and income increasing, but also the social impact that the program would make to the community and society. Each indicator has a target to reach to achieve the goal of the program. The framework includes several necessary steps: collecting baseline data, clarifying program objectives and essential activities, setting up indicators for measurement, informing stakeholders, designing utilization of data, identifying the data are needed based on indicators, doing data analysis, determining the formats and frequency of reports, and assigning responsibilities to relevant people. These steps help to produce the performance indicators for monitoring work and evaluation afterward.

Paper Presentation

Catholic Relief Services

7. A Comparative Analysis of U.S. And European P/CVE Policies and Practices. This paper seeks to examine and analyze U.S. and donor country policies surrounding prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE) with a focus on how policies came about and how they are changing. The analysis will look closely at what works well in each jurisdiction and to what extent funding trends align with emerging evidence of best P/CVE practices. This paper will be a tool for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) advocacy efforts related to rolling back the securitization of aid and complements research CRS conducted last fall on the most and least effective approaches in addressing the key drivers of violent extremism.

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Femme International

8. Evaluation on the Monitoring & Evaluation framework of The Twaweza Program. This paper questions to what extent indicators in the M&E framework have been constructed as well-developed indicators. This paper also questions what might be missing in the current framework. Through literature and document reviews, this paper constructs a metric to evaluate the indicators’ validity and reliability among other dimensions and ranks each indicator with a criteria checklist to come up with a total score for them respectively. I assess whether the indicators measure the right outcome of the program. In addition to the current set of indicators, I suggest new indicators to measure the Twaweza program activities. This paper also analyzes the causal validity of the M&E framework’s logic model. Lastly, some improvements for the future study are acknowledged.

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International Initiative for Impact Evaluation

9. Evidence on Interventions to Improve Food Consumption Impact in Latin America. The main purpose of this project is reviewing both successful and unsuccessful interventions on food consumption in Latin America to inform evidence-based policy decision making of the Mexican government. The report answers the following questions: (1) What is the scope of interventions on food consumption in Latin America? (2) What are the interventions and corresponding outcomes? (3) What are the policy lessons for each intervention?

Paper Presentation

Totohealth Tanzania

10. A Case of Zaawadi Program: A Needs Assessment of Maternity Product in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. Totohelath is an NGO based in Tanzania, Africa, aimed to help local women make motherhood a safe and joyful experience and decrease the rate of infant mortality. In order to know their consumers better and define their real needs in the trimester of pregnancy, this project will develop a needs assessment using the data of ZaaWadi case to design a target client profile, and do analysis following by these questions: who its target customers are, where they are located, and what they need. Infant mortality is a significant problem in African countries. In Tanzania, the progress in improving newborn survival has been slow. Roughly one in seven children do not survive to see their fifth birthday. Among these children, nearly half of them lost their life during their first month after birth, which is the neonatal period. The high rate of infant mortality is also due to the poor maternal health condition. Therefore, in order to help local women making their motherhood a safe and joyful experience and decrease the rate of infant mortality, Totohealth in Tanzania provide the maternity pack that contains lifesaving items for the newborn babies sold to expectant mothers in Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. But for now, we don’t know who exactly our target customers are, where they are located and how is their demand for this kind of product. Therefore, this reserch will be following these questions, and design a profile of target consumers in the Kilimanjaro region.

Paper Presentation

11. A Design Framework for a Mobile Customer Payment Solution for Startups in Tanzania. This paper discusses the design framework for the implementation of a mobile customer payment solution (MCPS) for startups in Tanzania. It is intended to form the theoretical basis upon which startups can design their own MCPS. The project was initiated for Totohealth Tanzania Ltd. but evolved into a general framework which any startup can use. I discuss the mobile money landscape in Tanzania that makes this kind of solution effective. The paper also discusses the factors startups should consider when designing their solutions. Through findings from case studies in African and Asian countries, I distil the reasons why many mobile solutions fail, and what practical steps startups can take to ensure that their own solutions succeed. I also used documents provided by Totohealth and interviewed some key staff who provided useful on-the-ground information about the mobile money scene. My recommendations revolve around helping startups ease the cost burden for the setup and maintenance of the systems, acquiring and retaining customers, reconciliations during the payment process, and scaling the solutions with time.

Paper Presentation