A quasi-experimental impact evaluation in Central America documented 44% growth in beneficiaries’ income and 249% increase in savings.
An international NGO was considering significant expansion plans while trying to reassure a leading funder about the size of its impact. Concerned about ongoing funding as well as whether growth would actually make a difference, the organization’s leaders sought an external impact evaluation to know what methods and activities were working and to help inform decisions and opportunities.
Through a series of collaborative interactions, Cicero first worked closely with both the NGO and the key funder to understand, clarify, and articulate the specific outcomes they hoped to realize. Building on that specific framework, we designed a robust questionnaire, first in English and then in Spanish, with significant field testing and refinement to ensure application across dialects and circumstances. Our field team then recruited, trained, and supervised local evaluators in conducting 600 in-person interviews in Nicaragua and Guatemala (including 200 non-participants to establish a comparison group). Finally, our analysts examined the data to identify a range of program outcomes and their key drivers. Ultimately, we developed an action-oriented report with a variety of recommendations to improve the program model and delivery going forward.
Following analysis and publication of results, the NGO’s primary funder re-engaged to provide additional funding for new program expansion. Now the organization is utilizing the study’s results to inform other fundraising and communication efforts, as well as implementing several of the operational recommendations developed through the research.