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1. Summary Causal Design is an economic consulting firm conducting [...]
Doing Business on the Navajo Nation: A Comprehensive Look at the Business Environment on the Navajo Nation
The Navajo Nation Context The Navajo Nation is sovereign territory [...]
COVID-19 is proving calamitous, with over 250,000 deaths globally, including 70,000 deaths within the United States, and 50,000 across the continent of Africa. Its economic impact is in the never-before-seen realm, and uncertainty, even amid talk of ‘opening up,’ is growing, as new hot spots emerge and as everything from schools to professional sports contemplate next-steps. Among the outcomes up in the air? State-society relations, everywhere, with long-term, potentially generational implications for the trajectory of post-pandemic health, development and prosperity.
There is little about COVID-19 that is clear right now. It has torn through countries, though at varying rates. Death rates have varied, and as time has passed, initial assumptions about who is affected have been shredded, as even young, healthy people have succumbed to the disease. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone, whether a small business owner or public policy expert.
As we all grapple with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 virus on our lives and the lives of those in our families and communities, it can be difficult to zoom out and think about the possible impacts beyond our town, city, and/or nation. It is nearly impossible to wrap our heads around the uncertainties the pandemic has presented for our own future, much less the future of 7 billion others.
Causal Design has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), distinguishing the firm as a trusted and valued provider of independent monitoring and evaluation services in the international development sector.
Between Greta Thunberg’s Time ‘Person of the Year’ awards, and almost concurrent end to a do-nothing UN climate talks in Madrid (to borrow from our US Congress lexicon), two things were reinforced, again, these past weeks: the urgency of climate change, and our inability to address it, at least from on-high. Remarkably, however, for an industry that is rooted in evidence, which examines disparities in health and well being across time and space (and especially among groups and sub-groups), and which holds dear an ethical mantra of ‘do no harm,’ Evaluation has done little to either mainstream the role of climate in our own practice, nor to ameliorate the industry’s impact (because, while disparate and far flung, we are an industry).
The OECD-DAC recently added to its list of evaluation criteria—the de facto norm through which organizations like Causal Design frequently organize evaluations and reporting. Specifically, after a multi-year process of considering how to best adapt its existing criteria, OECD added Coherence: How well does the intervention fit? to the existing and remaining five criteria. Reactions around our proverbial dinner table were appropriately mixed: How does this further a wider learning agenda? How does this differ from the existing Relevance? (which at times already overlaps with Sustainability) What does “fit” actually mean, and how do we use it, and meaningfully?