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Institute for International Programs

NEP

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Evaluation Platform (NEP)?

Why is a National Evaluation Platform needed?

Why is program evaluation so challenging?

How does NEP work?

What are NEP’s benefits to countries and governments?

How does NEP strengthen country capacity?

What kinds of questions does NEP help to answer?

How is NEP a "platform"?

How is NEP different from other data platforms?

What is NEP’s conceptual foundation?

What types of data are included in NEP?

Does NEP collect new data? 

Is NEP similar to DHS or other population-based surveys?

Is the NEP approach based on experience?

Where is NEP being developed, and what is the timeline for its development?

 

What is the National Evaluation Platform (NEP)?

The National Evaluation Platform is a rigorous new approach to compiling and analyzing data from diverse sources so that countries can get strategic, evidence-based answers to their most pressing program and policy questions. It provides

Why is a National Evaluation Platform needed?

Countries need a National Evaluation Platform because

Why is program evaluation so challenging?

Program evaluation has become increasingly difficult because

How does NEP work?

What are NEP’s benefits to countries and governments?

How does NEP strengthen country capacity?

What kinds of questions does NEP help to answer?

NEP data and analysis can help address a range of issues, including:

Over time, in-country NEP teams will build their skills to analyze more types of data with more sophisticated analytical tools, in order to address the increasingly complex questions faced by policy-makers.

How is NEP a "platform"?

NEP provides a foundation on which countries can build strong, sustainable national capacity to improve data quality and availability, conduct rigorous analysis, and track national progress on women’s and children’s health.

How is NEP different from other data platforms?

NEP is a national platform built on national and district-level data. Other national platforms may provide an incomplete data picture, including data from only some districts or data from vertical evaluations. Through compilation of available data, and use of innovative methods for disaggregating household surveys to district level, NEP provides a strong data set for analysis and identifies where gaps in data persist.

What is NEP’s conceptual foundation?

NEP is guided by the Common Evaluation Framework, a conceptual model that defines the causal pathway(s) through which a given program or intervention is expected to impact health status. The framework also identifies contextual factors and their potential influence on the various components of the pathway. 

What types of data are included in NEP?

NEP builds a centralized, consistently organized, and accessible home for key health, nutrition, and other contextual data from a range of sources, which grows and evolves as additional data become available. Core district-level data come from population-based household surveys including Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), censuses, and surveillance. These are supplemented by routine health management information systems (HMIS) data, program monitoring data, and results of special studies. The NEP database also includes relevant demographic and environmental data, to support analysis of contextual factors. All data are assessed for quality and consistency, ensuring analysis based on the best available information.

Does NEP collect new data? 

NEP compiles existing data from a variety of sources, assesses their quality, and organizes them into a unified, consistently-formatted database that is made available for further analysis. NEP collects new quantitative and qualitative data in specific instances when they are need to fill gaps in information on inputs, process, or context related to priority evaluation questions. NEP does not conduct new large-scale household surveys to fill gaps in intervention coverage or impact data.

Is NEP similar to DHS or other population-based surveys?

NEP is not a survey. NEP is a comprehensive technical approach to compiling existing national and district-level data, rigorously analyzing data, and using data to inform strategic and programmatic decision-making. 

Is the NEP approach based on experience?

NEP grew out of experience in Malawi, where rapid national scale-up of an integrated community case management (iCCM) program required development of an innovative evaluation design based on dose-response analysis. Leading evaluation scientists have contributed to the development of the NEP concept, co-authoring a Lancet paper and convening a Rockefeller Foundation-supported experts’ meeting in March 2011.

NEP is developed by the Institute for International Programs at Johns Hopkins University, in close collaboration with in-country government and academic partners. This partnership builds on IIP’s many years of experience working with governments to improve maternal and child health and nutrition by supporting the generation and use of sound evidence for program design and implementation.

Where is NEP being developed, and what is the timeline for its development?

In 2014 through 2016, four African countries—Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, and Tanzania—are building their own NEPs. NEP partners hope that successful development of the platform in these countries will provide proof of concept, leading to adoption of the NEP approach in other countries.