Evaluating the impact of stabilisation initiatives in Afghanistan
Client name: USAID
Scope of work: Measuring impact of stabilization initiatives (MISTI)
Duration: 2012 - ongoing
MSI – Coffey’s Americas operation – has been the prime contractor supporting USAID’s monitoring, evaluation and verification efforts for more than 20 years. In Afghanistan we were engaged to run USAID’s largest and most ambitious impact evaluation project to date.
In 2004 the people of Afghanistan elected their first democratic government after almost 30 years of war. Since then, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has continued its task of establishing public services, including governance and development structures, to provide a stable future for more than 30 million citizens.
The US Government supports Afghanistan’s continuing efforts to establish stability by supporting democratic practices and institutions, particularly at the provincial and district level. This approach offers real potential for Afghanistan’s long-term development, however social and economic insecurity threatens these efforts.
The Measuring Impact of Stabilization Initiatives (MISTI) project measures the impact of USAID stabilisation programming on changes in Afghanistan’s stability over time. The project is USAID’s largest and most ambitious impact evaluation project to date.
MISTI is designed to measure stabilisation trends at the district and village level. It also conducts verifications of project activities and provides a network for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practitioners to share best practice and lessons learnt. The data and analysis produced by the MISTI team is being used to help shape US and Afghan government policy.
The centrepiece of the project is a semi-annual survey used to track stabilisation trends. More than 190,000 household interviews have been completed since the project started.
The survey goes far beyond the usual security and governance questions to include questions on criminal activity, service provision and development, the rule of law, corruption, quality of life, economic activity, rural livelihoods, community cohesion and resilience, grievances and media use.
In addition, MISTI obtains a constant stream of data and performance indicators from USAID-supported programs, the Afghan government and the military. MISTI hosts quarterly M&E Summits to share best practices and lessons learnt.
MISTI’s M&E experts developed a standard approach to planning and executing interventions in unstable areas for USAID’s Stabilization Unit. This was achieved by evaluation of the District Stability Framework and Stability Analysis Method, then drafting a new Performance Management Plan.
The project has also conducted performance and impact evaluations of all current stabilisation programs and verified almost 600 project activities in the field.
MSI has completed more than 500 evaluations worldwide. We have supported USAID’s M&E efforts for more than 20 years, providing technical assistance to nearly 100 USAID field missions.