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Cablegate: Michael Eric Kite/Usaid Tdy Reporting Cable

VZCZCXYZ0011
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #2511 3111954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071954Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6569

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 002511

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

INFO USAID EL SALVADOR
INFO DCHA BONICELLI, HYMAN, SARLES
INFO LAC FRANCO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID OTRA CS
SUBJECT: MICHAEL ERIC KITE/USAID TDY REPORTING CABLE


1. Summary: USAID/W Democracy Officer, Eric Kite, from the
DCHA/DG/Strategic Planning and Research Division (SAR) completed a
five-day TDY (November 2 to November 6) for USAID. Mr. Kite worked
with USAID grantees University of Costa Rica and Vanderbilt
University and an associated multi-national team of Latin
American/Caribbean survey researchers to assure USAID-funded
democracy and governance surveys best serve USG foreign assistance
programming and policy needs. End summary.

2. Purpose of TDY: the purpose of this TDY was to help finalize
the 2006 democracy survey for Costa Rica funded by USAID/DCHA and to
check progress of the website at the University of Costa Rica which
will house regional survey data commissioned by USAID over the last
15 years. Additionally, Mr. Kite assisted a multi-national team of
survey researchers to tailor survey reports to best serve the needs
of USAID technical officers and policymakers. Specifically:

A. Mr. Kite spent Friday (11/3) with the Centro Centroamericano de
Poblacion (CCP) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) reviewing the
results of the USAID/DCHA-funded Costa Rica democracy survey, which
forms the upper benchmark for democracy support and values for
placing the other Latin American surveys in context. Mr. Kite also
reviewed progress in an effort to improve public opinion survey
collection through the use of PDAS, and the development of a
UCR-designed and hosted website to house, in a single location, all
of the USAID-funded Latin America/Caribbean surveys funded to date.
The meeting should result in greater utility of this website for
both researchers and USG policymakers.

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B. Over the weekend, Mr. Kite attended a two-day conference of
survey researchers from 14 countries in the region to review initial
results of their USAID-funded country surveys. The meetings
resulted in the development of country and regional report formats
and areas of analysis. Themes of analysis will include support for
democracy and democratic institutions, political tolerance and the
impact of crime and corruption on these USG development goals. The
reports will emphasize potential policy implications of survey
findings for the USG.

C. Before departing Costa Rica on 11/6, Mr. Kite briefed Embassy San
Jose Political, Economic and Public Affairs sections on the
USAID-funded activities with UCR and briefed on the key findings of
the Costa Rica country survey.

3. Observations: the TDY was a success in achieving its
objectives: oversight of USAID-funded activities with the
University of Costa Rica and improving the utility of USAID-funded
democracy surveys throughout the region. Additionally, these
regional meetings of survey researchers continue to contribute to
substantial improvements in the capacity of local institutions to
conduct high quality public opinion surveys and a better
understanding on their part of the needs of policymakers versus
academic audiences. The utility of the surveys for informing USAID
programs is increasingly clear, as expressed by the other USAID
mission officers reviewing the new survey results at the conference.
Concerning the Costa Rica survey, the University of Costa Rica team
expressed interest in briefing Embassy San Jose in greater depth at
any time in the future.

4. Conclusions or recommendations: a complete trip report will
follow to outline next steps in the completion of country and
regional reports resulting from the 2006 democracy survey and in the
implementation of the UCR website. This will include
recommendations for report contents and suggested timeframes for
Washington and regional dissemination events.
LANGDALE

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