The Evaluation, Research and Communication (ERC) project is a five-year Task Order under the USAID Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) Indefinite Quantity Contract implemented by Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc. (Cloudburst). The purpose of ERC is to create, expand, and communicate the results of evidence-based knowledge around best land tenure and property rights (LTPR) practices in order to enhance internal USAID and external U.S. government (USG) learning, guide program design and implementation, and make the most effective use of limited development resources to accomplish key USG development objectives, including expanding economic growth, improving food security and agricultural productivity, limiting conflict, empowering women, addressing global climate change and improving natural resource management.
ERC supports achievement of USAID’s Climate Change and Development Strategy under Strategic Objective 1 Intermediate Result 1.2 that includes “ensuring the rights and engagement of local and indigenous communities” in conjunction with a focus on improving tools and capacity for land-use planning to reduce deforestation. ERC also supports biodiversity conservation through collection and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge on how secure land tenure and property rights can incentivize sustainable land use and protection of valuable ecosystems including the forest, water, and wildlife within them. ERC employs a multidisciplinary approach that aligns with USAID Forward principles of learning and evidence-based programming as well as gender equality and female empowerment.
ERC includes five task areas:
- Impact evaluation, including conducting evaluation of Land Tenure and Property Rights (LTPR) activities and components and supporting enhanced impact evaluation capacity of USAID staff;
- Research, focusing on providing rigorous evidence for LTPR theory of change and testing development hypotheses as well as innovative approaches;
- Communication of LTPR-related messages, information, and knowledge to raise awareness and advance cost-effective LTPR programming in USAID and other implementing organizations;
- Training of USAID staff and partners in LTPR principles and programming approaches; and
- Conducting pilot activities of promising innovative approaches in LTPR.
During this quarter ERC activities focused on three main areas: planning and preparation for Year 3 activities; leveraging the analysis and reporting related to the growing evidence base resulting from ERC IE work, and expansion of activities under the two ERC pilot activities.