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Enabling Evidence-Informed Donor Decision-Making in Nepal


  • Supports the UK government to better use knowledge and evidence for decision making.
  • Promotes a “big picture” view of the development portfolio to help leadership align with higher-level strategies.
  • Fosters a learning culture to support portfolio interventions for systems strengthening.
The Challenge

Foreign aid delivery is often siloed within narrow sectors or individual programmes, leading to a dearth of evidence about the aggregate effectiveness of aid. The British Embassy Kathmandu (BEK) supports Nepal in a range of thematic areas, including governance, social service delivery, climate change, and humanitarian response. The ‘big picture’ portfolio-level understanding of all development projects is key to align all interventions with the higher-level strategy and the country’s development priorities. This ensures internal coherence across the Embassy and external coherence given other international donor-supported programmes.

The Approach

Abt supports BEK by working with senior leaders and wider programme staff and partners in three areas:

  1. Aligning programme-level monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) to maximise the aggregate and additive value of MEL data already collected by programmes.
  2. Synthesising evidence and creating new knowledge products, tools, and insights that respond to portfolio-level questions by mining evidence and data from existing programmes.
  3. Strategic learning by facilitating establishment of effective learning systems and processes for shared learning and improved decision-making.
The Results
  • Facilitated learning spaces and provided evidence to support strategic decision making about design and the implementation of the portfolio to achieve Embassy-wide outcomes.
  • Improved systems and processes to generate better quality evidence or lessons.
  • Generated wide range of knowledge products, including technical assistance analysis using a systems-change diagnostic tool, synthesis of lessons from annual reviews, synthesis of lessons from programme completion reviews, a data visualization system, and stakeholder engagement analysis.
  • Produced evidence about the live portfolio to identify patterns that contribute to wider portfolio-level objectives.