The Thought Leadership Paper series launched in August 2012 as another path for Abt Associates’ talented staff to share their ideas with the world. The series includes working papers, white papers, and re-publications representing a rich diversity of thought leadership from across Abt Associates. Papers in the series undergo a peer review process.
Technical Assistance for Economic Governance: A Guide to Select, Develop, and Implement Economic Policy Projects
Narciso Suárez, Lucía Gamboa
Identifying opportunities for technical assistance on economic development can be tricky and overwhelming. Project managers face a multitude of policy initiatives, programs, and institutions—directly or indirectly devoted to achieving economic growth—to choose from under time, know-how and budget constraints. Economic development initiatives have the particularity of taking time to produce results and even then impact can be hard to observe if careful monitoring and evaluation are not in place. Abt’s Narciso Suárez and Lucía Gamboa propose an approach for pre-selecting, planning, and implementing international economic development projects through foreign technical assistance.
Making an Impact: Technical Assistance, Reporting Requirements and the Challenge of Improving Governance
Foreign technical assistance for international development is increasingly driven by quantifiable indicators of impact. For this reason, governance projects are typically measured by reporting the number of achievements that improve the effectiveness of government interventions or strengthen the effectiveness of public sector institutions. The paper argues that this approach to impact measurement reveals relatively little about the actual achievements of foreign assistance. Counting can result in reporting (whether deliberate or not) that exaggerates the significance of relatively minor improvements, or obscures the impact of reforms that fundamentally change the public sector.
The Centers of Excellence Approach in the Dominican Republic: Empowering Teams to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes
Elizabeth Conklin, Carlos Cuellar, and Alexandra Hulme
This paper by Elizabeth Conklin, Alexandra Hulme, and Carlos Cuellar describes how a “Centers of Excellence” capacity building approach in the Dominican Republic brought about changes in the health system that led to service delivery and quality improvements and substantial reductions in maternal and neonatal mortality.
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