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Abstract

The evaluation of USAID funded farming systems research projects must play an important role in the design of future projects if one is to build on past experience to improve project performance. The development of an institutional memory is particularly important as FSR is new and still taking shape. Based on a comparison of four mid-term evaluations of FSR projects and a review of an Agency funded study, it appears that evaluations are not contributing all that they might to increasing the knowledge base. Frequently, crucial implementation issues are not covered and information is presented in a confusing and inaccessible format. This study outlines the role of evaluation in USAID, analyses four mid-term evaluations and proposes a list of questions to be addressed by evaluation teams. These questions address key issues related to project design and implementation. The proposed questions could improve future project performance by increasing the Agency's understanding of its past experiences with FSR projects.

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