Evaluation Services for the USAID Phil-Am Fund Activity
December 2018 to April 2019
USAID contracted the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) to implement the five-year, $24 million Philippine-American (Phil-Am) Fund activity to establish a grant-making facility to provide funding to qualifying recipients through a local, competitive process; integrate the overall strategy, allocations, and management of USAID grant-making activities in the areas of governance, economic growth, counter-trafficking in persons, education, and biodiversity; and manage and administer the grant facility on behalf of USAID.
In 2010, USAID embarked on an ambitious reform effort called USAID Forward to change the way the Agency does business. USAID Forward aimed to modernize and strengthen USAID so that it can meet the most pressing development challenges and work more efficiently towards its ultimate goal – creating the conditions where USAID involvement is no longer needed. As part of the reform efforts under USAID Forward, the Agency committed to change its business processes by contracting with, and providing grants to, more and varied local partners through Implementation and Procurement Reform (IPR).
By working through a local implementing organization, and providing grants to local organizations, Phil-Am Fund sought to contribute to USAID's goals for working more with and empowering local organizations in line with the agency's USAID Forward reform agenda. Integral to USAID's IPR, the Phil-Am Fund sought to build more local capacity, while also streamlining Agency procedures so that USAID can work with a broader range of local partners and increase procurement local competition. As a leading implementer of IPR for the Agency, USAID/Philippines aims to establish new partnerships to help create the conditions where aid is no longer necessary in the Philippines. Specifically, the Activity supported IPR Objective 2: strengthen local civil society and private sector capacity to improve aid effectiveness.
The Philippine-American Fund aims to contribute to Development Objective 1 ("broad based and inclusive growth accelerated and sustained") of USAID/Philippines' draft Country Development Cooperation Strategy through grants in economic growth, education and governance areas. In addition, the Activity aims to contribute to USAID's objective of strengthening Philippines environmental resilience through grants aimed at protecting biodiversity resources.
To date, Phil-Am Fund has awarded 37 grants to non-government institutions to implement community-based projects that promote economic growth (7), biodiversity conservation (15), governance (5), anti-trafficking in persons (6) and education (4). In terms of geographic reach, 18 awards were made in Luzon, 9 in the Visayas and 10 in Mindanao.
The overall aim of the evaluation is to assess the extent to which the Phil-Am Fund was able to achieve USAID program on journey to self-reliance (formerly USAID Forward) overall objective of promoting sustainable development through high impact partnerships and local solutions, and distill lessons on engaging with local non-state actors.
The evaluation seeks to address the following evaluation questions:
What positive and negative major changes in organizational capacity and performance of the grantees emerged as a result of the Phil-Am interventions?
Which key interventions of the Phil-Am Fund influenced specific changes in organizational capacity and performance of the grantees, as well as the realization of their specific project objectives?
What are the major enabling or hindering factors to improving the grantee's organizational capacity and performance and realization of specific project objectives?
Have the grantees achieved their specific project objectives (outputs and outcomes) as originally envisaged and targeted?
What key outputs and emerging outcomes of the Phil-Am Activity contributed to the USAID Forward goals of promoting sustainable development through high –impact partnerships and local solutions?
Based on this, the objectives of the evaluation include:
Validate the theory of change and impact pathway of the Phil-Am Fund and the consistency of interventions in relation to such pathways.
Assess the extent to which the capacity of local non-state organizations in developing and implementing solutions to many of the country's development challenges have been strengthened.
Assess the extent to which the partner organizations were able to achieve the specific activity objectives.
Draw insights and lessons learned and provide specific recommendations on how to more effectively engage with local non-state actors.