The ECA Evaluation Division conducts, on average, 3 evaluations per year utilizing the services of an external contracting firm to inform program teams of both successes as well as areas where modifications may be necessary. While including some information on process and implementation, our evaluations generally focus on what long-term outcomes have been achieved.
The Career Connections program is managed by ECA’s Office of Alumni Affairs. Begun in 2019, the Career Connections program brings together American alumni (18-35 years old) of U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs with expert career coaches, professionals from diverse fields, and international leaders to help alumni market their international exchange experiences. Delivered as two-day seminars across the country, the Career Connections program provides invaluable networking opportunities for U.S. alumni with leaders in their communities through activities such as: resume-building, developing a personal brand, translating skills gained through the exchange experience, developing an online presence, and networking to develop connections with fellow alumni and expert speakers alike. The purpose of the evaluation is to inform the next iteration of the award with participant-driven recommendations on how to strengthen the Career Connections program.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) is a scholarship program jointly funded and administered by the governments of the United States and Germany. CBYX provides year-long academic, homestay, and community service opportunities for American and German high school students, vocational school graduates, and young professionals. The program is designed to strengthen ties between youth, improve their career skills through formal study and work experience, and expand their perspectives and awareness of culture, society, history and politics. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess short- and long-term outcomes for American CBYX participants, and the effect of the program on American communities which hosted German participants.
In late 2019, U.S. Embassy Quito (Ecuador) partnered with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education and implementing partner Experiment in International Living Ecuador (EIL Ecuador) to design and implement Ecuador Habla Inglés, a flagship English program that expands and amplifies the reach of Public Diplomacy English programming dollars by improving the competency of English teachers, thereby improving the English ability of more students across Ecuador. This evaluation will explore the Habla Inglés program effects and outcomes on public school English language teachers and their students since the program’s inception in 2019. The evaluation will provide evidence to inform programmatic decision-making to the U.S. embassy Quito to inform the design, implementation, and improvement of Habla Inglés. The findings will also provide critical information to the Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and other stakeholders such as the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education. (Expected Completion: September 2022)
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative
YSEALI is designed to strengthen leadership development across the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Timor-Leste, deepen engagement with young leaders aged 18-25 on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and Southeast Asia. The focus of this evaluation is the YSEALI Academic Fellowship, which includes the YSEALI educational exchange portion of the YSEALI program, covering themes of civic engagement, environment, and social entrepreneurship and economic development. This evaluation will explore the program’s effects and outcomes since its inception in 2013, with focus on alumni short- and long-term outcomes in areas including skill-building and professional advancement. The evaluation will also assess the strength and sustainability of professional and educational networks created by the program, the extent these networks have been leveraged by Fellows to achieve outcomes, and the results of the program on educational trajectories and professions. The evaluation will employ a mixed-methods design that includes complexity-aware methods, aiming to tease out the trends in outcomes and the variable cause-and-effect relationships behind them. (Expected Completion: June 2022)