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Namibia MCC Tourism Project Evaluation


Highlights

  • Was the initiative to grow the tourism sector in Namibia successful?
  • Abt Associates is building a retrospective picture of the project.
  • Our evaluation will show how the project’s contributions can inform future efforts.
The Challenge

Etosha National Park, one of Namibia’s primary attractions, covers 8,600 square miles of wilderness, including the massive Etosha salt pan and savanna woodlands. Visitors stay in lodges within the park and visit watering hole sites to watch zebras, giraffes, elephants, and big cats. Despite these attractions, fierce competition in the African safari business pits Namibia against better-known parks in neighboring Botswana and South Africa.

In 2014 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) completed a five-year initiative to grow the tourism sector in Namibia. Was the MCC’s initiative to grow the tourism sector in Namibia successful?

The Approach

Abt Associates is building a retrospective picture of the project. Our mixed-methods approach is overcoming data challenges by combining quantitative, national tourism data with qualitative, performance-based information. The multidimensional Abt evaluation team — including experts in monitoring and evaluation, economic growth, tourism and digital analysis — is working with the Namibian government to retrieve data such as tourist arrivals and park revenue, while exploring project documentation to identify creative ways to fill in information gaps.

The Results

Abt’s evaluation is measuring performance and determining the project’s sustainability through qualitative interviews, indicators, and on-the-ground observations. It also is examining website data alongside national statistics to establish time series trends. The evaluation will show MCC and Namibian collaborators how the project’s contributions can inform future efforts to tackle challenges at the intersection of tourism and economic growth.