NCG has completed a process evaluation concerning the response of three donor agencies (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), and the Global Affairs Canada (GAC)) to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bolivia, looking at the period from March to December 2020. The evaluation assessed in a comparative manner (using rubrics) how well the three agencies responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons were drawn for future crises. The focus was on internal procedures within the agencies as well as on adaptiveness in reprogramming.

The evaluation concludes that all three donor agencies have demonstrated strong responsiveness towards project partners in Bolivia and that decentralised decision-making and adaptive management capacity have been critical assets. The evaluation recommends that more thorough assessments of headquarters’ “fit for fragility” preparedness are conducted, and that headquarters’ “duty of care” procedures are reviewed to better address critical family issues and protection of national staff. It is also recommended that the agencies will further expand their virtual toolbox for communication and project monitoring, building on new good practices piloted during the COVID-19 lockdown.    

Due to the pioneering nature of the evaluation (being the first comparative assessment of bilateral donor agencies’ response to COVID-19) and the innovative methodology applied, the OECD-DAC COVID-19 Global Evaluation Coalition has recently asked for permission to turn the methodological approach into a generic tool that could be shared with the Coalition members, and others interested in doing similar studies.

The evaluation team was composed by Carsten Schwensen (NCG Partner and Team Leader), Louise Scheibel Smed (NCG Partner and Evaluation and Gender Equality Expert), alongside Louise Mailloux (Canadian Evaluation Expert), and José Antonio Perez Arenas (Bolivian National Expert). Penny Hawkins acted as Quality Assurance Expert.  

Follow the link to read the report.