mSTAR/Bangladesh Final Evaluation

  • Date Posted: September 26, 2017
  • Authors: Md. Forhad Uddin
  • Organizations/Projects: Institute of Social Business (ISB)
  • Document Types: Evaluation
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

mSTAR's activity in Bangladesh ran from September 2013 until September 2017. Its primary objective was to assist USAID/Bangladesh to integrate digital payments in the programs and operations of implementing partners, as well as to support expansion of the digital payments industry in ways that are beneficial to USAID programs and USAID’s broader development objectives at an ecosystem level.

mSTAR/Bangladesh contracted ISB to conduct a final evaluation on its activities during this period. The evaluation was conducted between April and June 2017 to systematically understand mSTAR/Bangladesh’s progress towards the goal of integrating digital financial services (DFS) in the programs of USAID/Bangladesh and connecting DFS providers for overall impact. A total of 34 persons were interviewed for this evaluation, and three FGDs were conducted with 20 beneficiaries. In addition, mSTAR/Bangladesh related documents and reports were reviewed to have quantitative insights.

Through its different activities, mSTAR/Bangladesh technically supported 40 USAID programs over its four-year implementation period, including 26 focusing on economic growth, 10 health and education programs, and four USAID/Bangladesh Office of Food for Peace-funded projects. This was done through small grants (three recipients), formal technical assistance (nine recipients), informal technical assistance (three recipients), and workshops (25 programs participating). Of the eight grants and TA recipients who were interviewed, all of them had used DFS; among them, seven organizations performed business to person (B2P) transactions, two organizations performed person to business (P2B) in addition to B2P, and two organizations performed business to business (B2B) transactions.

The total volume of transactions made by mSTAR/Bangladesh-supported USAID programs and their beneficiaries through June 2017 was BDT 162.5 million (just over US$2 million), which is 176% higher than what mSTAR/Bangladesh had projected (BDT 92.25 million). The average volume of each transaction made by USAID/Bangladesh partner organizations was BDT 1,733.

Read the final evaluation report for many more findings.