USTDA employs a robust evaluation process that identifies credible information about what its program activities have achieved for U.S. companies and host country partners. USTDA's Program Evaluation Office continuously monitors, tracks, and analyzes the outcomes of the Agency's activities to determine their overall effectiveness, inform evidence-based funding decisions, and ensure oversight and accountability with stakeholders. The evaluations process is both rigorous and dynamic as it is integrated into all individual project, budget, management, and policy decisions. USTDA measures results by documenting the link between specific Agency-funded activities and final project outcomes, including the amount of U.S. exports generated by each project.
In addition, the Program Evaluation Office employs several indicators to accurately capture the various benefits delivered to U.S. companies, host country partners, and host country economies as a result of Agency-funded activities. These indicators include, among other things, data about U.S. small business engagement, sources of project financing, and industry and sector trends.
The Program Evaluation Office participates in each stage of USTDA's project life cycle. It provides valuable information on past projects, to gauge the anticipated outcomes of future projects. Also, before an activity is funded, the Program Evaluation Office proposes specific evaluation strategies to ensure USTDA can accurately record results. When an activity is underway, the Program Evaluation Office works with relevant stakeholders to continually monitor its progress. Once the activity is complete, the Program Evaluation Office begins the process of tracking and documenting the outcomes from the project. During implementation of the project, USTDA often engages independent contractors to assist with information gathering and documentation of the results. Each project resulting from an Agency-funded activity is evaluated annually for approximately five years, or longer depending on the expected timeline.
Each annual evaluation investigates whether the goal of USTDA's funding was achieved and how U.S. companies benefited from the Agency-funded activity. The analysis also provides details on how the project was financed; the exports realized and U.S. content of those exports; and information on stakeholders knowledgeable about the project's current status. When projects are evaluated, USTDA conducts interviews with the stakeholders (grantees, U.S. companies, U.S. government entities, financing organizations, and USTDA personnel), and performs further research to verify and supplement the information obtained through these interviews. Additionally, all projects are submitted to an outside contractor for evaluation at least once during their lifecycle.