South America and the Caribbean

Discover the recent and ongoing activities and projects conducted by GEI partners in South America and the Caribbean.

Costa Rican Evaluation System Support

The German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) contributes to GEI; its ECD activities to date have focused on  Costa Rica and the Latin American region. DEval is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and has implemented its capacity building work in Costa Rica together with the Ministry of National Planning and Economical Politics of Costa Rica. 

DEval applies a systemic ECD approach, which is based on evaluation platforms that bring together a wide range of actors (academia, public institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector) to work in networks. Along with the evaluation platform in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican evaluation system has been strengthened and is now considered exemplary. A recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report highlights as particularly positive various components of the Costa Rican evaluation system that were developed with DEval. These include Costa Rica’s national evaluation policy, a meta-evaluation, the evaluation manual, and the use of evaluation standards, among others. 
DEval’s ECD work has thus made a decisive contribution to the establishment of an exemplary national evaluation system in the region, from which high-quality evaluations are both produced and used for political decision-making.   

Strengthening Evaluation Culture among Legislators 

In 2020, CLEAR offered a tailored course, “Use of Information and Evidence for Legislative Decision-Making,” to 20 parliamentarians and 20 advisers of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. The course responds to an increased need for high-quality policy evaluation, which becomes especially relevant when governments are under social and economic stress, such as during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to increase both learning and innovation and highlight the importance of sound decisions based on evidence. 

The Chamber is the highest budgetary authority in the Mexican government, with the mandate to approve the annual federal budget. This course specifically targets deputies of the Surveillance Commission of the Federal Superior Auditor, to increase the use of evidence-based decision-making among legislators by demonstrating how evaluative evidence can be useful in policy budgeting and supervision. 

In hands-on presentations and activities prepared by the trainers, participants engaged with evidence and were encouraged to consider how evidence can inform budgetary decisions and approvals. The training was highly appreciated by the deputies, and it was suggested that the course be delivered to all representatives before they assume their seat in the Chamber. 

Quotes from participants

"We conclude this online course with the certainty that what we have learned will allow us to have more and better elements to apply in our day to day [work] to better supervise the quality of public expenditure.” 
—Dr. David Villanueva, Mexican Chamber of Deputies 

Evidence to Help the Public Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic 

In Brazil, CLEAR launched a blog and newsletter, “Monitor de evidências COVID-19,” to provide curated, relevant, and evidence-based content from around the world about the pandemic’s impact on economies, labor markets, social policies, education, health, and early childhood development. The blog is an effort to provide reliable knowledge to counteract the spread of misinformation about the pandemic, a problem that the United Nations warns can cause great harm to the public.  

As a digital knowledge repository accessed through the CLEAR LAB website, it contains more than 75 pandemic-relevant studies and papers on M&E and evidence-based public policy. More than 1,600 subscribers receiving the content by email in Portuguese and through social media can quickly and easily access quality knowledge and apply it in their everyday work in the policy arena. 

Building the Capacity of Government Officials in Brazil

CLEAR has supported the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, in designing, developing, and institutionalizing its M&E system, following best practices from other countries in the region. 
CLEAR supported the development of guidelines for public policy evaluation, which later became publications used to guide M&E activities more broadly within the public sector in Brazil. After the improved M&E system was launched, CLEAR delivered its ForMA M&E training program to build capacity of public officials from different Espírito Santo government sectors. Participants were able to work on evaluation designs for existing public policies with technical assistance from the CLEAR LAB center. Several of these evaluation designs evolved into evaluation plans that are currently under implementation. The trained state officials later acted as multipliers, replicating the ForMA training throughout the government and strengthening M&E awareness and culture, which was important to securing the system’s sustainability. 

The development of an M&E system at the subnational level is at the core of CLEAR technical assistance strategy, and other states in Brazil are working with CLEAR to design and implement enhanced and institutionalized M&E.