91. Mid-term 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 IADB)

• Start Date: October 2022

• End Date: February 2023

The general objective of the project is to carry out the Intermediate Evaluation of the National Program of Postgraduate Scholarships Abroad 'Don Carlos Antonio López', whose main objective is to assess the relevance and performance achieved by the Program (period 2018 to first semester 2022) for establish the corresponding decisions to ensure compliance with the commitments assumed.
Methodology and activities performed

The methodological design will be approached from a quantitative-qualitative triangulation perspective, as both approaches complement each other and are considered appropriate due to the different objectives of this study and by virtue of the diverse nature of the data to be obtained and constructed. This methodology will make it possible to analyze the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of the program and its components. We will work with three methodological pillars: desk work (review and analysis of relevant documentation); electronic surveys of returned beneficiaries; and interviews and face-to-face focus groups with key stakeholders, beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.


As part of this consultancy, qualitative and quantitative methodological tools were designed and implemented to be able to analyze the main results obtained from the BECAL II Program from the beginning of its execution in the second semester of 2018 until the first semester of 2022 inclusive. The different aspects of the program were examined using the questions contained in the evaluation matrix prepared for the purposes of this consultancy as a guide. The level of compliance with the indicators was analyzed, mainly focused on the characterization of the beneficiaries, the scholarships and the goals proposed and achieved. A probit model was carried out in order to estimate the probability of being chosen as a scholarship holder of the program and the significant and non-significant variables were identified. The design, procedures, management capacities, governance model and plan were also studied. program communication. The financial execution of the program was analyzed, taking the amounts budgeted and executed for each year and subcomponent. The evaluation also included a study of different international experiences of similar study abroad scholarship programs, drawing from these best practices and lessons learned. With the elements studied and analyzed, different conclusions were identified and recommendations were formulated. Likewise, lessons learned were identified so that they can be applied in the remaining time of the program's execution as well as in its subsequent instances. The lessons learned revolve around four main axes: governance, design, execution and monitoring, and development of the management team. Finally, recommendations were made to increase the probabilities of generating impact and sustainability of the program, and methodologies for its monitoring and follow-up.