Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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Cumulative Assessments: changing expectations and process for grantee evaluation reports

The Network for Peacebuilding Evaluation and the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium were pleased to have hosted a Thursday Talk with Rebekah Usatin of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Rebekah discussed NED's transition from requiring grantees to submit annual final evaluation reports to asking them to undertake a broader cumulative assessment of their work every 3-5 years. 

About the Speaker:

Rebekah Usatin is the Manager for Program Evaluation at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C., where she oversees all aspects of monitoring and evaluation for NED’s $100 million grants program.  She is responsible for setting strategic evaluation priorities, providing evaluation training and technical assistance to NED staff and grantees, designing and managing external evaluations, and ensuring the integrity of NED’s M&E systems. She is the author of “The Ripple Effects of Process Change” in the forthcoming issue of the Foundation Review. Rebekah is a founding member and chair of the Democracy and Governance Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association. Prior to joining NED, she worked as an evaluation consultant for a USAID-funded democracy and governance project based in Montengro.   Rebekah holds an Master’s of Public Administration and International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BA in Politics and French Literature from Whitman College.

 Recording and Transcript: 


To read a summary of the presentation and discussion, please click here



A question from Tracy Dexter, 

"Please relate an anecdote- what does this process look like?  What kind of information comes out of focus groups?  What does a cumulative report catch that a final report doesn't catch?"


The Cumulative Assessment (CA), is a retrospective evaluation report that looks back at several years of funding whereas a final evaluation report is only for the previous year of funding.

It's up to the grantee organization to decide what their 'process' will be and what kind of methodology they'd like to use, and while many of them have utilized focus groups, it's not a requirement.  For those that have used focus groups, the information gathered has depended on their evaluation questions.