Accession Number:



Foreign Assistance: Agencies Can Improve the Quality and Dissemination of Program Evaluations

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The U.S. government plans to spend approximately 35 billion on foreign assistance in 2017. Evaluation is an essential tool for U.S. agencies to assess and improve the results of their programs. Government-wide guidance emphasizes the importance of evaluation, and the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 requires the President to establish guidelines for conducting evaluations. However, evaluations can be challenging to conduct. GAO has previously reported on challenges in the design, implementation, and dissemination of the evaluations of individual foreign assistance programs. GAO was asked to review foreign aid evaluations across multiple agencies. This report examines the 1 quality, 2 cost, and 3 dissemination of foreign aid program evaluations. GAO assessed a representative sample of 173 fiscal year 2015 evaluations for programs at the six agencies providing the largest amounts of U.S. foreign aid - USAID, State, MCC, HHSs Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service, and DODs Global Train and Equip program - against leading evaluation quality criteria analyzed cost and contract documents and reviewed agency websites and dissemination procedures.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]