Mid-term Performance Evaluation of USAID/India Millennium Alliance Program
In 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in India launched the Millennium Alliance Program to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify innovations, test promising solutions, and scale effective interventions and products. USAID/India contracted Social Impact, Inc. to conduct a performance evaluation to examine project effectiveness, identify the factors that promoted social innovation, and document best practices and lessons learned to inform the future of USAID’s involvement in the Millennium Alliance Program. USAID provided evaluation questions related to innovation, leveraging, development outcomes, sustainability, management, gender, knowledge management and communications and the design of the Program.
The Evaluation Team used mixed methods including document review, secondary data analysis, semi-structured interviews and group interviews to identify findings that address the evaluation questions. This report outlines key findings that the Program has been effective at identifying and financing inclusive innovation in India that address the development needs of the bottom of the pyramid, however, there are several design and implementation challenges that impede efficiency (staffing limitations, monitoring and evaluation system weaknesses), effectiveness (development outcome, innovation, sustainability, and leveraging limitations), and equity (regional and gender).
The report makes 35 recommendations (17 high priority) for Millennium Alliance partners to address in the short, medium and long-term. Overall, the evaluation concludes that there are many areas for improvement of Millennium Alliance, but that continued investment into the project, with FICCI as the managing partner, would likely be beneficial for developing the inclusive innovation space in India.