MSI Evaluates Afghanistan’s Stabilization Efforts In Complex Environment

MSI implemented the USAID-funded Measuring Impact of Stabilization Initiatives project or MISTI, one of USAID’s largest and most ambitious monitoring and evaluation programs to date.

The project was designed to measure stabilization trends and impacts and build a community of practice for rigorous monitoring and evaluation. The complex project contributed to the larger body of knowledge on best practices and lessons learned from stabilization, and is being used to help shape U.S. government and Afghan policy.

Despite a resilient antigovernment insurgency in Afghanistan, the project tracked and helped USAID analyze the evolution of Afghan attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors during stabilization efforts. MISTI used meticulous social science methods to evaluate the impacts of USAID’s stabilization programs and to measure stabilization trends across approximately 76 indicators.

Over 27 months, starting in 2013, a total of 190,264 individual interviews were completed in 5,093 different villages in 130 districts in 23 provinces of Afghanistan where stabilization programming was being implemented or considered.

The survey questions went far beyond what was conducted previously to address not only security and crime but also governance, service provision and development, rule of law, corruption, quality of life, economic activity, community cohesion and resilience, grievances, and media.

In addition to this robust data collection, MISTI obtained a constant stream of data and performance indicators from USAID–supported programs, Afghan civilian agencies, and the military and hosts quarterly M&E Summits. These were used to share best practices and lessons learned.

MISTI’s M&E experts also drafted a new Performance Management Plan for USAID’s Stabilization Unit.

The project concluded in October 2015.

MSI has completed more than 500 evaluations worldwide. The firm has been the prime contractor supporting USAID’s M&E efforts for more than 20 years, providing technical assistance to nearly 100 USAID field missions.