SI provides technical support and evaluation services to the U.S. Department of State through a five-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract.

Goal:

To enable bureaus and independent offices to implement the Department of State Evaluation Policy and promote evidence-based decision-making on programs, management processes, and delivery systems.

Activities:

Since 2012, SI has completed more than 20 task orders to assess and optimize the Department’s foreign assistance and diplomatic engagement activities. Some highlights include:

Expanding capacity to manage for results

Training on Strategic Planning, Performance Management, and Evaluation: SI developed tailored curricula to prepare Civil Service and Foreign Service personnel to manage for results and conduct evaluations in accordance with Department policy. Training courses are practical and interactive learning experiences, designed to build participants’ skills to effectively manage and evaluate their programs, systems, and operations. SI has trained more than 350 personnel from more than 30 regional and functional bureaus and offices at the Department.

Supporting public diplomacy

Public Diplomacy Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation for the U.S. Embassy Islamabad: SI assists the Public Affairs Section with planning for, monitoring, and evaluating its public diplomacy activities. Their objectives are to enhance public messaging, counter violent extremism, strengthen people-to-people ties, and strengthen local partners. SI will develop a comprehensive Performance Management Plan and a results framework and indicators for the Cultural Affairs Office. SI evaluates activities such as the Fulbright Program and trains the Public Affairs Section and its implementing partners.

Combatting trafficking in persons

Assessment of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Process: SI works with the Reports and Political Affairs team in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Our aim is to optimize the business process for producing annual TIP Reports. SI mapped the current approach and designed options for alternative workflows. This will enable staff to more effectively engage stakeholders and more efficiently collaborate across the Department.

Improving refugee assistance

Evaluation of Gender-Based Violence Prevention Programs with Refugees in Chad, Malaysia, and Uganda

Evaluating Refugee Shelter, Health, and Education Programs: SI evaluated the effectiveness of the Department’s shelter, health, and education (SHE) programs for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Livelihoods Programs for Refugees and Refugee Returnees in Burundi and Ethiopia

Preventing Potential Staff Malfeasance at Resettlement Support Centers: SI examined the steps involved in refugee processing at Resettlement Support Centers funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Based on its case study evaluations in Ecuador, Jordan, Kenya, and Turkey, SI noted measures taken by the Centers to prevent internal malfeasance. SI also identified areas where prevention could be strengthened, as well as the extent to which refugees understand procedures for preventing and responding to internal malfeasance.

Preventing election-related violence

Evaluation of Kenya Engagement: SI evaluated a joint Department-USAID effort to prevent election-related violence in Kenya during the March 2013 elections. The Kenya engagement was one of the first instances in which the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations simultaneously undertook significant diplomatic and programming activities. SI’s evaluation gathered lessons to inform follow-on activity in Kenya by the U.S. Government and other actors. Our evaluation will also guide similar efforts conducted elsewhere.

Promoting religious freedom and tolerance

Outcome Evaluation of International Religious Freedom Program: SI assessed the effectiveness of projects funded by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to protect and promote religious freedom and tolerance. SI’s evaluation examined project results and challenges related to:

  • fostering religious tolerance in Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia
  • advocating for religious freedom legislation in Kazakhstan
  • preventing communal religious violence in Nigeria
  • engaging religious leaders and youth activists in Pakistan
  • promoting dialogue and religious pluralism in the Middle East and North Africa

Preventing illegal imports

Evaluation of Lacey Act Amendment Foreign Assistance Programming: SI evaluated U.S. Department of Justice, The Nature Conservancy, and the United States Forest Service programs to improve implementation and enforcement of the 2008 Lacey Act Amendment, which bans the import of illegally harvested timber or wood products. SI’s evaluation highlighted key successes and provided evidence-based recommendations for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs to increase the impact of its programming.

Department of State Bureaus and Offices supported:

Bureau of African Affairs

Bureau of Budget and Planning

Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

Foreign Service Institute

Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia

Office of Global Partnerships

Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

US Embassy Islamabad

Contact: [email protected]