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Great overview of what to read on adaptive management. It’s a long one, so I’ve split it into two – second installment tomorrow. Christian Aid Ireland’s recent publication The Difference Learning Makes by Stephen Gray and Andy Carl made a bit of a splash. The study found that Christian Aid Ireland’s application of adaptive programming contributed to better development outcomes and supported more flexible delivery. The much vaunted MUVA programme in Mozambique is also coming to a close and...
Rethinking monitoring and evaluation in complex systems — when learning is a result in itselfInnovation, U. - 2022, May 20 - Medium
By Søren Vester Haldrup, UNDP’s Strategic Innovation Unit
Evaluating complex interventions in international development (CEDIL Methods Working Paper 6)Masset, E., Shrestha, S., & Juden, M. - 2022 - CEDIL
This paper reviews promising methods for the evaluation of complex interventions that are new or have been used in a limited way. It offers a taxonomy of complex interventions in international development and draws on literature to discuss several methods that can be used to evaluate these interventions. Complex interventions are those that are characterised by multiple components, multiple stakeholders, or multiple target populations. They may also be interventions that incorporate...
Evaluating complex interventions: What are appropriate methods? [CEDIL Methods Brief 7]Masset, E. - 2022 - CEDIL
In the CEDIL Methods brief, ‘Evaluating complex interventions: What are appropriate methods?’ we identify four types of complex development interventions: long causal chain interventions, multicomponent interventions, portfolio interventions, and system-level interventions. These interventions are characterised by multiple activities, multiple outcomes, multiple components, a high level of interconnectedness, and non-linear outcomes.
Innovating for inclusive rigour in peacebuilding evaluationApgar, M., Báez-Silva, Á. M., Deng, A. C., … Wingender, L. - 2022, April 22 - Institute of Development Studies
Inclusive and rigorous peacebuilding evaluation is both vital and complex. In this blog we share examples of how we are innovating our methodologies to move towards participatory and adaptive practice.
Second (and Third) Thoughts on Adaptive Management and Thinking and Working PoliticallyGreen, D. - 2022, April 6 - From Poverty to Power
Self-Critical reflections on AM and TWP. Linking it with The Hype Cycle - "it feels like we are heading downward to the ‘trough of disillusionment’ form the initial peak of ‘inflated expectations’, but we will bounce back to something more sustained, that becomes a permanent feature of the aid landscape".
Getting serious about systems change
Lessons Learned From the Use of the Most Significant Change Technique for Adaptive Management of Complex Health InterventionsOhkubo, S., Mwaikambo, L., Salem, R. M., … Sharma, M. K. - 2022 - Global Health: Science and Practice, 10(1)
Introduction:The Most Significant Change (MSC) technique is a complex-aware monitoring and evaluation tool, widely recognized for various adaptive management purposes. The documentation of practical examples using the MSC technique for an ongoing monitoring purpose is limited. We aim to fill the current gap by documenting and sharing the experience and lessons learned of The Challenge Initiative (TCI), which is scaling up evidence-based family planning (FP) and adolescent and youth sexual...
A critical appraisal's of CEDIL papers on Evaluating Complex Interventions... A study was recently published by the Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL) entitled Evaluating complex interventions in international development. This is the sort of title that raises great expectations. Complexity is a hugely popular theme and many of us are keen to know more about how to evaluate efforts that seek to achieve results amid complexity. In April 2021, CEDIL conducted a...
Theory of Change Workbook: A Step-by-Step Process for Developing or Strengthening Theories of Change [Text]Salib, M. - 2022 - USAID
While over time theories of change have become synonymous with simple if/then statements, a strong theory of change should actually be a much more detailed, context-specific articulation of how we *theorize* change will happen under a program.
Thinking and working politically: What have we learned since 2013? – FP2PGreen, D. - 2022, February 1 - From Poverty to Power
It’s always a red letter day when a new paper from Graham Teskey drops. His most recent is Thinking and working politically: What have we learned since 2013? For those that don’t know him, Graham is a consummate insider-outsider within the aid sector – long stints at DFID (UK), DFAT (Australia) and now Abt (Management Consultants). From this vantage point he has been one of the leading proponents of ‘thinking and working politically’, always ready to call out the hand-wavey academics and...
The Difference Learning Makes - Factors that enable and inhibit adaptive programmingGray, S., & Carl, A. - 2022 - Christian Aid
Executive Summary When Christian Aid (CA) Ireland devised its multi-country and multi-year Irish Aid funded Programme Grant II (2017-2022), they opted to move away from a linear programme management approach and to explore an adaptive one. Across seven countries: Angola, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, CA and partner organisations support marginalised communities to realise their rights, reduce violence and address...
The Patterns of Possibility - How to Recast Relationships to Create Healthier Systems and Better OutcomesWinhall, J., & Leadbeater, C. - 2022 - The Rockwool Foundation
In Building Better Systems, we introduced four keys to unlock system innovation: purpose and power, relationships and resource flows. These four keys make up a set. Systems are often hard to change because power, relationships, and resource flows are locked together in a reinforcing pattern to serve the system’s current purpose. Systems start to change fundamentally when this pattern is disrupted and opened up so that a new configuration can emerge, serving a new purpose. In this article...
Monitoring and evaluation for thinking and working politicallyAston, T., Roche, C., Schaaf, M., & Cant, S. - 2022 - Evaluation, 28(1), 36–57
This article explores the challenges of monitoring and evaluating politically informed and adaptive programmes in the international development field. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of some specific evaluation methodologies which have been suggested as particularly appropriate for these kinds of programmes based on scholarly literature and the practical experience of the authors in using them. We suggest that those methods which assume generative causality are particularly well...
Thinking and working politically: What have we learned since 2013 (p. 24)Teskey, G. - 2021 - TWP Community of Practice
The Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) Community of Practice (CoP) was established at a small meeting tacked on at the end of a meeting of Governance Advisers working for the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) on South and South-East Asian countries, held in Delhi in November 2013. Since then, a number of meetings have been held throughout the world, each addressing different issues; ‘TWP’ has entered the lexicon of mainstream development; the CoP has...
Understanding Governance from the Margins: What Does It Mean In Practice?Barnes, Katrina, B., Katrina, Anderson, C., de Chassy, S., … Wazir, R. - 2021 - Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
What does governance look like ‘from below’ – from the perspectives of poor and marginalised households? How do patterns of conflict affect that? These were the questions at the heart of the Governance at the Margins research project. Over three years from 2017-2020 we worked to explore this through in-depth study in conflict-affected areas of Mozambique, Myanmar, and Pakistan. Our research teams interviewed the same people regularly over that time, finding out how they resolved problems and...
Getting Real about Unknowns in Complex Policy Work (RISE Working Paper No. 21/083)Andrews, M. - 2021 - Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)
As with all public policy work, education policies are demanding. Policy workers need to ‘know’ a lot—about the problems they are addressing, the people who need to be engaged, the promises they can make in response, the context they are working in, and the processes they will follow to implement. Most policy workers answer questions about such issues within the structures of plan and control processes used to devise budgets and projects. These structures limit their knowledge gathering,...
DPPD Handbook. A step-by-step guide for development practitioners to apply the Data Powered Positive Deviance methodDPPD - 2021 - DPPD Initiative
The Method Positive Deviance (PD) is based on the observation that in every community or organization, there are a few individuals who achieve significantly better outcomes than their peers, despite having similar challenges and resources. These individuals are referred to as positive deviants, and adopting their solutions is what is referred to as the PD approach¹. The method described in this Handbook follows the same logic as the PD approach but uses pre-existing, non-traditional data...
In Building Better Systems, we introduced four keys to unlock system innovation: purpose and power, relationships and resource flows. These four keys make up a set. Systems are often hard to change because power, relationships, and resource flows are locked together in a reinforcing pattern to serve the system’s current purpose. Systems start to change fundamentally when this pattern is disrupted and opened up. Then a new configuration can emerge, serving a new purpose. In this essay...
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