Globalization continues to connect us to communities across the world.

The average person is more aware of and interested in global success; e.g. many more people know what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are today than a decade ago. Along with this is an increasing focus on including more participatory evaluation approaches and to use evaluation to learn, rather than just as an accountability tool. Global standards are increasingly being shared and used to drive evaluation practice. And those at the forefront of evaluation in the international space are increasingly recognizing the need for local partners to be embedded in evaluation projects.

The Improve Group has 10 years’ experience providing evaluation to support international nonprofits and government agencies, including experiences with agricultural development, education, gender, public health, and human rights. We frequently partner with in-country firms, lending our evaluation design expertise, large-scale project management capabilities, and our Community-Responsive ApproachSM. For example, we recently partnered with the University of Minnesota to conduct a post-hoc outcome study of past U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food For Progress projects. Applying our Community Responsive Approach(SM), we engaged project stakeholders in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Benin during the design of the project, which was key to building relationships and trust as well as improving our process to be respectful of the different cultural contexts in which we worked. This ensured we were respectful stewards and uplifted the voices of participating communities. Our data management practices enabled a smooth, cohesive analysis process across 35 people who conducted 95 data collection events in the three countries. This allowed us to provide rigorous analysis by country and across projects despite their varying settings. Meanwhile, the USDA will use findings to refine its partner agreement requirements and attributes.

Read more about our work in International Community Development here: