Thresholds I and II Performance Evaluation 2008-2012
From 2006 to 2011, the government of Albania (GOA) received two Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Programs totaling $29.6 million. Albania received its first Threshold Program (ATP1) in 2006. As a result of the success of ATP1, MCC approved a Stage II Threshold Program (ATP2) in 2008.
The goal of the $13.9 million ATP1, which lasted from September 2006 to November 2008, was to improve Albania's performance on the control of corruption and business environment indicators by addressing tax administration, public procurement, and business registration legislation and processes. ATP2, a $15.7 million program in place from January 2009 to May 2011, expanded a similar approach of promoting e-government to business licensing and urban planning. ATP2 also supported reforms in public administration and judicial capacity, with the objective of achieving improvements on the control of corruption and rule of law policy indicators.
Upon completion of ATP2, the MCC commissioned this final independent, ex-post performance evaluation to implement an independent and evidence-based study of both Albania threshold programs, examining program effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The evaluation team was directed to focus its efforts on the extent to which activities were undertaken; activities were fully implemented; implemented activities led to outcomes (or meaningful changes in knowledge, attitudes, and practices); implemented activities and outcomes have been sustained to date; and the likelihood that they will be sustained over the short- and long-term, as well as the cost effectiveness of the program activities, where feasible.
The evaluation team collected and analyzed evidence to assess program effectiveness in achieving both output- and outcomelevel impacts. In particular, during the program review and evaluation implementation, the evaluation team explored the extent to which:
- Activities were undertaken
- Implementation progressed as planned
- Activities were fully implemented
- Implemented activities led to outcomes (or meaningful changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices)
- Implemented activities and outcomes have been sustained, to date, and the likelihood that they will be sustained over the short- and long-term
The evaluation team explored the factors (internal, including programmatic design and implementation issues, as well as external forces) that enabled or prevented the achievement of these outputs. In particular, and in line with the TOR, the evaluation team collected quantitative and qualitative information from different government representatives, business owners, civil society representatives, project implementers, U.S. government partners and others stakeholders regarding the extent to which the timeframe and Compact incentives hindered or accelerated policy improvements and the implementation of activities. For each ATP component, specific evaluation questions are explored in detail, in the appropriate sections of this report.
- Document review
- Business impact survey
- Reference to ATP-funded surveys
- Focus group discussions
- Open-ended and semi-structured key informant interviews
- GOA data
- Third-party reports and surveys
Kind of data
Anonymized dataset for public distribution
Unit of analysis
Individuals, focus groups, businesses, government data, documents
Producers and sponsors
Social Impact, Inc.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Business Impact Survey (BIS2) sample frame: 486 businesses; 4 partially-overlapping samples from 4 different (though partially overlapping) sampling frames: (1) VAT payers, (2) large (LTO) taxpayers, (3) businesses that obtain licensing and (4) businesses that participate in public procurement.
Focus Group Discussions (Business Registration - VAT Payers) sample: Economic Operators that were registered after 2006 with NRC. Only 1 FG- in Tirana Businesses will vary by size and sector, but we will select only those businesses which have registered by themselves, without hiring an external person. Participants should be the individuals who personally interacted with the NRC to register.
Focus Group Discussions (Small Businesses) sample: small businesses, with an annual turnover of up to 8 million LEK, (proportionately representing ranges: 0-2 million LEK, 2-5 Million LEK, and 2-8 Million LEK, paying local government (simplified tax) recruited through small business association in Korca and RDAs in Korca and Tirana. A mix of those registered before 2006 (with the court system) and after (with NRC). The sample will include representatives of various sectors (retail shops, food outlets, restaurants, service sector, taxi drivers, etc).
Interviews with CSOs sample: Approximately 15 CSOs that were assisted by MCC ATP, but representing a mix: those having been trained/assisted with 1-on-1 capacity building/being part of the Coalition of CSO in support of Administrative Court/being part of the TCC/received monitoring grants (the latter, all 5, will be asked to participate in the interviews). Based on ISC reports we will ensure a mix of CSOs, which had recorded a progress (according to ISC assessment) and have not.
Dates of collection
Business Impact Survey (BIS1)
Business Impact Survey 2 (BIS2)
Business impact survey (BIS2): The survey covered medium and large businesses (value-added tax [VAT] payers).
Focus group discussions (FGDs): The discussions included small businesses that are exempt from the VAT.
Open-ended and semi-structured key informant interviews (KIIs): KIIs were conducted with government officials, USAID and U.S. Embassy personnel, independent experts, former project staff representatives of consortium members and selected business leaders. Site visits were conducted to project-implementation sites in Tirana and the regions.
GOA data: Data, annual reports, and in-depth interviews were included from GOA agencies working with the ATPs.
Third-party reports and surveys: Findings were used if relevant to assessing project outcomes and impact.
Institute for Development Research and Alternatives
Subcontractor to Social Impact
Melikyan, Lilit. Social Impact, Inc. Albania Threshold Programs Final Evaluation Report. 2012.
Version 1.0 (March 2014). The version uses an updated metadata template.
Version 2.0 (April 2015). Edited version based on Version 01 (DDI-MCC-ALB-SI-THRESHOLDS-2013-v1.1) that was done by Millennium Challenge Corporation.