Triangulating Vulnerability and Resilience Measurements: A Case Study From Ethiopia

Session Number: 1263
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Tasneem Nahar, Deputy Director, Program Management Unit [Social Impact]
Presenter 1: Sierra Frischknecht [Senior Associate - Social Impact]
Time: Nov 11, 2017 (09:15 AM - 10:00 AM)
Room: Roosevelt 1

Abstract 1 Title: A Multi-Project Disaster Risk Reduction Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 1:

Social Impact conducted a multi-project external evaluation of two USAID disaster risk reduction projects in Ethiopia from 2016-2017.  The two projects, though solicited under the same framework and evaluated under one umbrella, were implemented separately by different organizations.  This mixed methods evaluation both examined overall effectiveness and project performance, but was also designed to give USAID a strategic perspective of its drought resilience portfolio in order to inform the upcoming CDCS revision.  This paper will discuss the lessons learned from this multi-project evaluation, including designing quantitative and qualitative instruments that can provide comparable data, and presenting findings in a productive and use-oriented manner to the implementers and donor.

Presentation 1 Other Authors: Mike Pressl
Abstract 2 Title: Big Data Analysis of Drought Vulnerability
Presentation Abstract 2:

To provide further insight into USAID’s drought resilience programming in Ethiopia, a GWU-IDS group took a big data approach to analyzing factors that correlate with risk.  Using publicly available, nationally representative datasets, we developed a taxonomy of variables specific to disaster risk reduction in Ethiopia, combined the datasets to fill out this taxonomy, and conducted factor analysis to identify characteristics that have most corresponded with vulnerability to drought in Ethiopia and specific areas that are most vulnerable.  The approach emphasizes geographic mapping to visualize and analyze relationships between variables and hotspots for risk.  This paper will present the methods used, findings, challenges and advantages of this approach, and next steps to incorporating USAID project data into this taxonomy.

Presentation 2 Other Authors: Zainab Ayub, Megan Powell, Zakia Nouri, Ariel Scharf
Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This session will present several evaluation and measurement approaches taken to give a strategic perspective on drought vulnerability and resilience programming in Ethiopia.  One method followed a relatively traditional performance evaluation approach, including a baseline and endline quantitative measurement triangulated with qualitative interviews, but was simultaneously evaluating two drought resilience projects with different approaches.  The other takes a big data analysis approach to assessing drought vulnerability in Ethiopia.  The assessments were then presented to USAID to make decisions regarding its strategic disaster risk reduction priorities in Ethiopia.  We anticipate that the next steps will be to start integrating these two approaches and building a standardized taxonomy for integrating multiple project’s M&E data to give donor agencies rich, regularly updated data that can inform project management and adaptation.  This session will present the two different methodologies for triangulating project and agency data for evaluations, lessons learned, and the way forward.