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Transforming our work: Getting ready for transformational projectsKehrer, D., Flossmann-Kraus, U., Ronco Alarcon, S. V., … Aschmann, G. - 2020 - GIZ
Self Sabotage: Why Doing the Right Thing Results in FailureNewell, P. - 2020, January 7 - War on the Rocks
In January 2010 improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against dismounted infantry squads in Afghanistan numbered in the single digits — with only two
A New Policy Narrative for Pastoralism? Pastoralists as Reliability Professionals and Pastoralist Systems as Infrastructure [Working Paper]Roe, E. - 2020 - ESRC STEPS Centre
This paper proposes that pastoralist systems are better treated, in aggregate, as a global critical infrastructure. The policy and management implications that follow are significant and differ importantly from current pastoralist policies and recommendations. A multi-typology framework is presented, identifying the conditions under which pastoralists can be considered real-time reliability professionals in systems with mandates preventing or otherwise avoiding key events from happening....
This document explores how organisations can measure the level of influence that they had over an outcome. It summarises influence in terms of the significance of the outcome, the level of contribution and the strength of evidence.
Adaptive Management in SDC: Challenges and OpportunitiesPrieto Martin, P., Apgar, M., & Hernandez, K. - 2020 - IDS
Adaptive management (AM) is a programme management approach that helps international development organisations to become more learning-oriented and more effective in addressing complex development challenges. AM practices have been applied for decades within other sectors as varied as logistics, manufacturing, product design, military strategy, software development and lean enterprise. At its core, AM is not much more than common sense, as it essentially recognises that the solutions to...
Thinking and Working Politically in development - Coalitions for Change in The PhilippinesSidel, J. T., & Faustino, J. - 2020 - The Asia Foundation
The Asia Foundation and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines today released a new publication, Thinking and Working Politically in Development: Coalitions for Change in the Philippines. Written by London School of Economics and Political Science Professor John T. Sidel and The Asia Foundation’s Jaime Faustino, the book examines the first phase of the Coalitions for Change program (2012-2018) and the contributions to key development policy reforms in the Philippines. The book is a...
Contribution analysis for adaptive management (Briefing Paper, p. 14)Apgar, M., Hernandez, K., & Ton, G. - 2020 - IDS/GLAM
This briefing note shares practical learning on the use of contribution analysis for adaptive management (CA4AM). It examines how the approach enables programmes to work with theories of change in a practical, reflexive way, and how, combined with assessing evidence of a programme’s contribution to change, its findings can inform programme adaptation. It also examines both how and to what extent CA enables AM through the experiences of four large complex programmes all working towards...
Unpacking Mechanisms in Climate Resilient Agriculture InterventionsBarrett, S., D’Errico, S., Anderson, S., & Nebsu, B. - 2020 - New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(167), 115–130
The investigation of causal mechanisms has the capacity to provide donors and implementing institutions with a greater understanding of people's reasoning and reactions as they work with interventions. This chapter contributes to the literature by identifying behavioral mechanisms generated through engagement with climate-resilient agriculture interventions within a larger livelihood project in Ethiopia. It works through the steps that enabled the study to unpack the black box between the...
Letting Evidence Speak for Itself: Measuring Confidence in MechanismsBefani, B., & D’Errico, S. - 2020 - New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(167), 27–43
This chapter argues that the credibility of causal mechanisms can be greatly increased by formulating them as statements that are both empirically falsifiable and empirically confirmable. Whether statements can be so depends on the potential availability of the relevant evidence (e.g., no evidence exists that can prove or disprove the existence of God, but good quality evidence is potentially available in many other cases). The Bayes formula can be used to measure the extent to which a given...
Using a Participatory Theory Driven Evaluation Approach to Identify Causal Mechanisms in Innovation ProcessesBlundo‐Canto, G., Devaux‐Spatarakis, A., Mathé, S., … Cerdan, C. - 2020 - New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(167), 59–72
Applied agricultural research institutes play different roles in complex agricultural innovation processes, contributing to them with other actors. To foster learning and usable knowledge on how research actions influence such lasting innovation processes, there is a need to identify the causal mechanisms linking these actions and the effects of the changes they enable. A participatory, theory-driven, ex-post evaluation method, ImpresS, was developed by the French Agricultural Research...
Outcome mapping: learning brief (Briefing Paper)Buell, S., Malallah, H., & Mason, P. - 2020 - ODI/GLAM
Adaptive programmes recognise that certain changes, particularly in behaviours, are complex, non-linear and difficult to measure. This briefing note explores the use of outcome mapping (OM) as a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approach to track behavioural change and inform adaptation for two programmes: the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE) research consortium and the Accountability in Tanzania programme (AcT I and AcT II). It discusses the implementation of...
Learning From Failure 2020 - What CARE’s evaluations tell us about how to improve our work (p. 6)CARE - 2020 - CARE
“Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” --Samuel Beckett Here’s my favorite part of that quote: the ultimate goal is not a lack of failure; it’s better failures. That’s good news for CARE, because we just published round two of our Learning From Failure initiative, and…I know this will surprise everyone…we haven’t stopped failures yet. We do have some hopeful signs that we’re failing better; or at least, that we’re improving on some concrete weaknesses we identified in...
Listen carefully. Tread lightly. Adapt quickly. Approaching Adaptive Management: Examples from our Somalia Education Programming (CARE Learning)CARE - 2020 - CARE
Adaptive management approaches potentially offer us opportunities to deliver high quality results in circumstances where change is complex, including in fragile, unstable or conflict affected places. However, building adaptive programming continues to be a challenge for the sector. For CARE, our Department for International Development -UK Aid funded Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) programming has provided useful learning on how to operationalise adaptive approaches. In this paper we expand...
Changeroo assists organisations, programs and projects with a social mission to develop and manage high-quality Theories of Change. It allows you to - together with stakeholders co-create Theories of Change, and - present these in an interactive and engaging way. It helps keep a Theory of Change alive, enables reflective monitoring, and supports capacity building among social organisations. Changeroo helps you utilize your Theory of Change for strategic learning, communication,...
Theory of Change is more than just a tool or instrument. It is a mindset! A mindset to optimise impact management. As the cornerstone of impact management it is indispensable to any purpose-driven organisation targeting social or environmental value creation. It offers you the cornerstone of a learning approach toward change and impact. A way to build a mindset and organisational culture of critical reflection, co-creation with stakeholders and constant analysis of what works, why, for whom...
How to design and plan public engagement processes: a handbookFaulkner, W., & Bynner, C. - 2020 - What Works Scotland
There is a growing hunger for more, and more meaningful, citizen participation in decisions that affect our lives. Across the world, calls for open government, workplace democracy, community empowerment are gaining support, as are innovative developments in deliberative democracy. The current COVID-19 pandemic makes these calls more pressing than ever, given the deepening inequalities it has caused and the complex challenges of building a progressive road out of the crisis. So, now more...
Theory of Change is thought to be very useful for learning and adaptive management of complex interventions such as advocacy. Nevertheless, the use of Theory of Change is also under critique. One common criticism is that Theory of Change is often used as a framework that fixes agreements rather than as a living, guiding tool that helps reflection and adaptation. However, while such criticism stresses forms of control, little research has looked at the way Theory of Change and advocacy...
The Actor-Based Change Framework: A Pragmatic Approach to Developing Program Theory for Interventions in Complex SystemsKoleros, A., Mulkerne, S., Oldenbeuving, M., & Stein, D. - 2020 - American Journal of Evaluation, 41(1), 34–53
Despite a wide body of literature on the importance of program theory and the need to tackle complexity to improve international development programming, the use of program theory to underpin interventions aimed at facilitating change in complex systems remains a challenge for many program practitioners. The actor-based change framework offers a pragmatic approach to address these challenges, integrating concepts and frameworks drawn from complexity science and behavioral change literature...
What Is This Thing Called a Mechanism? Findings From a Review of Realist EvaluationsLemire, S., Kwako, A., Nielsen, S. B., … Leeuw, F. L. - 2020 - New Directions for Evaluation, 2020(167), 73–86
Realist evaluation has, over the past two decades, become a widely used approach in evaluation. The cornerstone of realist evaluation is to answer the question: What works, for whom, under what circumstances, and why. This is accomplished by explicating the causal mechanisms that, within a particular context, generate the outcomes of interest. Despite the central role of mechanisms in realist evaluation, systematic knowledge about how the term mechanism is conceptualized and operationalized...
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