77.Final Evaluation of the BECAL Project

• Contracting Organization: National Program of Postgraduate Scholarships Abroad 'Don Carlos Antonio López' (BECAL) of the Ministry of Finance of Paraguay (financed by the IDB)

• Start Date: July 2021

• End Date: November 2021

To evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the National Program of Postgraduate Scholarships Abroad 'Don Carlos Antonio López'.

Methodology and activities performed
This evaluation adopted a methodological triangulation strategy, with a quantitative focus complemented by a qualitative analysis. To obtain quantitative information, a survey aimed at all applicants, beneficiaries or not, of the program was used as a primary source; while for the qualitative evaluation, interviews and focus groups were designed and implemented.


As part of this consultancy, qualitative and quantitative methodologies were implemented to analyze the main results obtained with the execution of the BECAL I Program. The level of compliance with the indicators was analyzed, focusing mainly on the characterization of the beneficiaries, the benefits and the goals proposed and achieved. An analysis of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Program was carried out, taking as main points the evaluation of the investment and the results of BECAL. The evaluation also included a benchmarking study of different international successful experiences. A private and social evaluation of the benefits was carried out, based on the application of the SROI methodology. A cost-benefit analysis was carried out: a beneficiary of the program earns 14% more than a non beneficiary. A Net Present Value of USD 40 million and a Social Return on Investment of 2.14 units for each unit invested (both discounting a 4.4% rate) were obtained. The degree of development of the program's capacities to articulate with other programs and key actors was analyzed. The procedures, management and communication capacities of the program were also studied. An impact evaluation was carried out, having as main focuses the three components of the program (Education, Research, Innovation), reviewing the impact both in the title and in the results.

Different conclusions and recommendations were identified. Strengths and weaknesses were categorized, mainly extracted from the responses to the Return Surveys, the General Survey and the Focus Groups implemented by the consulting team. Similarly, lessons learned were identified so that they can be applied in subsequent instances of the program. Finally, recommendations were made to increase the chances of generating impact and sustainability of the program.