Evaluation of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Economic Development Programme​

The Commonwealth Secretariat in London is the backbone of the Commonwealth and the Strategic Plan 2013/14-2016/17 (the Plan) marked the beginning of a new chapter for the Secretariat. The Plan had six core areas of strategic focus that include democracy, public institutions, social development, youth, development: Pan-Commonwealth and development: small states and vulnerable states. Under the Economic Development pillar (5), the Secretariat’s programme of delivery was focused on four intermediate outcomes:
5.1 Effective policy mechanisms for integration and participation in the Global Trading System;
5.2 Commonwealth Principles and values advances in global development and financing decisions;
5.3 National frameworks facilitate effective debt management; and,
5.4 Effective, equitable, transparent and sustainable management of marine and other natural resources.

International Economics (IEC), with funding from the Commonwealth, conducted an independent evaluation of the Secretariat’s Economic Development Programme under the Plan, covering areas that include trade policy support, debt management and sustainable management of marine and other natural resources. The evaluation served both an accountability and learning purpose.

What We Found

The project’s overall objective was to provide an independent opinion on the performance and results of the Secretariat’s Economic Development programme. The team at International Economics assessed the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the support provided by the Secretariat in meeting the needs of its member states and made recommendations from both the strategic and operational perspectives to optimise the utilisation of resources in achieving sustainable impact.

Our Strategy and Impact

International Economics undertook a theory-based evaluation of the programme, assessing the extent to which outputs, outcomes and impact have been achieved and examining the validity of assumptions that have been articulated linking the achievement of these outputs to outcome and impact. The team also consulted a wide range of stakeholders during the implementation of the evaluation. The final evaluation report, which was published on the Commonwealth Secretariat’s website, was used to refine the current strategies of ongoing and new projects and programmes and to evidence the outcomes realised under the previous strategic plan, thereby serving an accountability function.

Our Core Solutions

Governments, international donors, and the private sector face many important questions on the expected outputs and impact before, during and after the implementation of their projects. This is where International Economics Consulting’s team of experts, using innovative methodologies to collect and analyse data, can assist you in tracking the economic, social, and environmental aspects of your project. Applying our analysis and research knowledge, we help our clients maximise efficiency and improve their development objectives. Through the lessons learnt and the feedback mechanisms we implement in our monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) processes, we support institutional strengthening and the re-alignment of resources to ensure the sustainability and maximum impact of projects, helping our clients make well-informed strategic decisions. Learn More. How do we help our clients with Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning? Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) processes are vital in ensuring the success and sustainability of projects. International Economics Consulting has developed considerable expertise and experience in the sector, working with a vast network of international donors and governments. We assist our clients by: Monitoring and Evaluating the Implementation of Projects Implementation is critical for the success of any project and is, therefore, crucial to ensure that performance is met in a way that maximises impact and efficiency. Our team is experienced in implementing Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) projects worldwide. Some of the core solutions we offer include: o Revision of evaluation questions and the development of evaluation matrices; o Field visits and data collection; o Stakeholder Consultations; and o Data Analysis, for example, value for money analysis, heatmap of expenditures and returns on investment Evaluating Project Outcomes We assist our clients in obtaining some of the key answers regarding the outcomes and finalisation of their projects, such as: o Has the project met the expected outputs? o Has it achieved the desired impact and objectives? o Was implementation carried out sustainably? o What were the pathways for achieving development? o Are the effects sustainable, i.e., will they last over time? o What are the lessons learnt? Institutional Learning The lessons learnt, and feedback mechanism we implement in our monitoring and evaluation processes support institutional strengthening and re-alignment of resources to ensure project sustainability and maximum impact. The evaluation exercise revises the monitoring indicators of institutions and makes suggestions for reinforcing these, improving the communication of results, and ensuring adaptation of projects in line with outcomes. Discover our expertise areas and how we can help your business thrive.

Project Areas

International Business Strategy

E-Commerce and Digital Trade

Policy and Negotiations

Risk Management

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning

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