The international community provides billions of dollars each year to promote democratic institutions and cultures in transitioning and developing countries. The concept of democracy assistance is relatively new and there is a dearth of detailed information to guide future projects. Sound evaluations of these efforts can not only improve their effectiveness, but also promote their legitimacy among those that financially support those programs – such as taxpayers. The author provides some clarity on evaluation concepts and processes for democracy assistance as well as suggests ways to improve policies.
About the author: Krishna Kumar is senior evaluation adviser in the Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, US Department of State. He has been engaged in development and democracy assistance programming for the past three decades and has designed, managed, and conducted evaluations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. His other recent publications include Promoting Independent Media: Strategies for Democracy Assistance and the coedited Promoting Democracy in Postconflict Societies.