Does Technical Assistance Matter? An Impact Evaluation Approach to Estimate its Value Added
Many public programs and operations by multilateral organisations include technical assistance to the direct beneficiaries of the program in addition to pure financing. However, there is no substantial body of studies that calculates the additional impact; in the sense of exclusively attributable to, of technical assistance on the outcome of interest of the program. We propose the use of multi-treatment impact evaluation method -propensity score combined with exact matching for dosage and double difference- for estimating technical assistance’s impact. We illustrate the technique for two potable water and sewerage programs where the direct beneficiaries are local governments, although the method is applicable for different types of programs and beneficiaries. The impact calculations reveal that technical assistance does matter as it has an impact over and above that of only financing. Given the small dollar value of technical assistance relative to the dollar value of transfers not only does technical assistance matter but it is a way of getting more for less. Thus technical assistance, in the examples studied, does matter.
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