New Economic Opportunities Impact Evaluation
Banyan Global was the prime contractor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia to manage the longitudinal impact evaluation of the New Economic Opportunities (NEO) project. NEO aimed to increase rural incomes, reduce poverty levels, improve food security, and address critical, small-scale household and agricultural water constraints in targeted communities. NEO also targeted internally displaced persons (IDPs) to sustainably maintain their households and assist communities distressed by natural or other disasters. Banyan Global led an evaluation of NEO in consortium with Counterpart International and the United Nations Association of Georgia. The evaluation team measured NEO’s effectiveness and provided project implementers with data to help direct resources to high-impact interventions. The team employed a mixed-methods evaluation, utilizing a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to answer questions related to NEO’s community-level impact. The NEO evaluation generated important knowledge about economic-growth programming: what has worked, what has not worked, and why. This learning will inform USAID decision-makers and project designers to refine and improve future interventions. The NEO project evaluation is part of a new evaluation trend within USAID to hire third-party experts to assess ongoing projects as a means of identifying elements of project effectiveness and guiding future resource allocations.