VOICE for the People: Using Robust Evaluations for More Effective Civic Education Programs
In order gain precise insight into the effect of its adult civic education program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), IFES implemented the VOICE Impact Evaluation study. The study formally utilized experimental methods to assess the outcome of civic education activities under the Voter Opinion and Involvement through Civic Education (VOICE) program. VOICE aimed at improving the capacity of the Congolese people to understand the decentralization process mandated by a 2007 law and to engage in the November 2011 elections. This is one of the first times that such a study had been conducted on an adult civic education program in the field of democracy and governance. Daniel Laurent, Program Manager for Francophone West Africa, and Rola Abdul-Latif, Senior Research Specialist at IFES' Applied Research Center, tell us why such studies are useful, what the VOICE Impact Evaluation study revealed and whether these studies will continue to be implemented in the future.