Project Profile

Phased Evaluation Services in Support of Counterterrorism Programming

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Project Name

DOS/CT Phased Evaluation Services Contract

client

Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism (DOS/CT)

Prime Contractor

Resonance

Partner Organization

CNA

Country

Multi-Country

Time Period

September 2017 – March 2021

Challenge

Terrorist organizations present a persistent and grave threat to the national security of the United States and its allies. The U.S. Congress established the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund (CTPF) to help foreign government partners more effectively counter terrorism and violent extremism. The CTPF is managed by the Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism (DOS/CT).

Through the CTPF, DOS/CT designs and manages $515 million in foreign assistance programs that help partner countries build law enforcement and judicial capabilities to mitigate attacks; disrupt terrorist transit; and arrest, investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate terrorists in accordance with the rule of law. DOS/CT also uses CTPF funding to build partnerships with civil society to counter radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism. This work is highly sensitive, complex, and shaped by local context. DOS/CT, therefore, seeks to develop consistent monitoring processes across the CTPF portfolio to evaluate program strategy, efficacy, and impact.

Solution

Through the Phased Evaluation Services contract, Resonance delivered monitoring and evaluation (M&E) services for DOS/CT’s CTPF programs. Resonance’s CTPF M&E team conducted real-time evaluations while simultaneously building the capacity of CTPF program teams for ongoing program monitoring. We took a flexible, adaptive, and client-oriented approach to help inform DOS/CT decision-making around allocating resources across the CTPF portfolio, implementing counterterrorism programming, and designing future CTPF programs.

Resonance led the following under the Phased Evaluation Services contract:

  • Conducting Portfolio Reviews: We supported DOS/CT and CTPF program teams by conducting in-depth reviews of CTPF-funded programs across 14 target countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, the Philippines, Somalia, and Tunisia. The aim of each country Portfolio Review was to document the progress of applicable CTPF programs against their stated objectives; gain an understanding of the current conditions and context in which CTPF programs operate; identify data needed for subsequent midline and endline comparison and analysis, and provide recommendations that allow DOS/CT and its CTPF program teams to more adaptively manage current programs and improve future program design. For each portfolio review, we drew evidence for our findings and conclusions from extensive desk studies, key informant interviews and focus group discussions with both U.S. government and partner nation stakeholders, and secondary-source quantitative data.
  • Building Monitoring Capacity of CTPF Program Teams: We worked with DOS/CT and CTPF program teams to build long-term capacity for ongoing, quality monitoring and learning. We developed logical frameworks to guide thoughtful activity design and targeted M&E for 14 CTPF country programs; reviewed design documents, interagency agreements, and performance monitoring plans (PMPs); delivered presentations on M&E processes to DOS/CT and CTPF program teams; drafted how-to guidance on developing PMPs for use in current and future CTPF programs; and created a searchable database of key performance indicators (KPIs) applicable to CTPF programming.

Key Results

  • Resonance conducted 11 Portfolio Reviews – each examining the progress and unique context of CTPF programs operating in a specific partner country. Resonance interviewed a total of 580 stakeholders – from host country governments and law enforcement, local and international civil society, and the U.S. government – across 53 distinct projects to generate qualitative data for the completed Portfolio Reviews.
    CTPF-funded Tactical Medical training exercise in Tunis, Tunisia, April 2019. (Photo credit: Jennifer Gauck)
  • Resonance developed logical frameworks for 10 CTPF country portfolios, representing 48 distinct projects, to guide future design and monitoring efforts. We also assisted DOS/CT to create design documents for all 15 of its areas of core competency, including rule of law, terrorist watchlisting, and community policing. These design documents will help ensure that (1) the goals and objectives of each CTPF program align with DOS/CT’s higher-level strategies, and (2) similar CTPF programs across different countries are guided by a common theory of change, logical framework, and set of assumptions.
  • Resonance conducted a cross-country analysis of the 53 CTPF-funded projects that Resonance evaluated over the course of its Portfolio Reviews, encompassing 14 countries. The Cross-Country Report highlighted CTPF-funded projects’ contributions to partner nation CT capabilities, factors influencing program performance, and lessons learned for future programming.
  • The Resonance M&E Team consistently received accolades from DOS/CT leadership for its flexible and adaptive approach. We helped DOS/CT to effectively track and monitor a complex array of counterterrorism programming and ensure accountable stewardship of more than $500 million in CTPF funding.

Photo: CTPF-funded Tactical Medical training exercise in Tunis, Tunisia, April 2019. (Photo credit: Jennifer Gauck).

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