USAID projects in the former Soviet Union: policy case studies
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The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War are widely recognized as watershed events in the history of world affairs. Decision-makers and scholars in many fields are only beginning to understand the profound shifts and realignments in global political and economic relationships in a post-Cold War world. An important link between the United States and the former Soviet republics is the foreign assistance program in the region, since assistance efforts often serve as an important lens through which to view strategic relationships between nations. This evaluative policy research explores that link through qualitative case studies of three US Agency for International Development (USAID) projects in the region. Each qualitative case study represents a distinct approach to foreign assistance delivery in the region: classical technical assistance (represented by ZdravReform in contracts with Abt Associates), formal site partnership (in cooperative agreements with the American International Health Alliance), and experimental technology (a cooperative agreement with the former Selentec, Inc.). Three policy context chapters (Chapters I, II, and III) introduce the case studies, in which historical trends of the assistance effort and of the domestic foreign policy-making framework in Washington, DC, are highlighted. A final chapter (VII) examines the findings from the study and recommends a refocusing of the foreign assistance effort in the NIS toward more long-term developmental strategies. Theoretical and methodological assumptions in the study are informed by the constructionist approach to policy evaluation described by Guba and Lincoln (1989). This broad approach assumes that different constructions or interpretations exist concerning the nature and goals of projects. Unlike typical project evaluations, this approach does not assume that stakeholders in projects share common perceptions of the expected goals for and outcomes of their projects. Constructionist approaches to qualitative study fall within the interpretative stream of social science explored by theorists and researchers from a number of disciplines (Geertz, 1973; Denzin, 1992; Hammersley, 1989; Bruner, 1990). More specific conceptual assumptions also are explored in Chapter I, drawn from the literature on institutional research . Emphasis is placed in the evaluative analysis on how effectively conflicts that arose among the multiple stakeholders in each project were addressed.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University
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