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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
Integrated Governance: Achieving Governance Results and Contributing to Sector Outcomes (RR-0046-2205; RTI Press Publication)Frazer, S., Granius, M., Brinkerhoff, D. W., & McGregor, L. - 2022 - RTI Press
Achieving broad-based socio-economic development requires interventions that bridge disciplines, strategies, and stakeholders. Effective sustained progress requires more than simply an accumulation of sector projects, and poverty reduction, individual wellbeing, community development, and societal advancement do not fall neatly into sectoral categories. However, researchers and practitioners recognize key operational challenges to achieving effective integration that stem from the structures...
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.
Seeing the Combined Effects of Aid Programmes (No. 196; IDS Policy Briefing)Burge, R., Nadelman, R., McGee, R., … Anderson, C. - 2022 - IDS
Multiple aid agencies often try to support change in the same places, at the same time, and with similar actors. Surprisingly, their interactions and combined effects are rarely explored. This Policy Briefing describes findings from research conducted on recent aid programmes that overlapped in Mozambique, Nigeria, and Pakistan, and from a webinar with UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advisors and practitioners. The research found three distinct categories of ‘interaction...
Locally driven development: Overcoming the obstacles (Locally Led Development Is a Complex Process That the Development Community, in the U.S. and around the World, Has Spent Several Decades Trying to Get Right. Yet, despite All the Experience and Lessons Learned, It Feels like We Are Barely beyond the Starting Line. This Publication Aims to Contribute to the Ongoing Dialogue on Locally Led Development, Especially as to How the United States Can Address the Obstacles Posed by U.S. Law, Regulation, Policy, and Practice. It Consists of Two Parts: • An Essay by George Ingram That Notes the Path That Has Taken Us to This Point, Identifies Key Obstacles, and Invites a Discussion of How to Overcome Impediments and Move Forward. • A Set of 15 Commentaries Written by Development Experts That Add a Range of Perspectives and Nuances to the Discussion No. 173; Working Paper, p. 58)Ingram, G. - 2022 - Brookings Institution
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.
The collaborative exploration of alternative futures: A different approach to Theories of ChangeCEDIL programme - 2022, April 13
ParEvo is a web application that enables the collaborative construction and exploration of a range of alternative futures: likely and unlikely, desirable and undesirable. These are described in the form of a branching narrative structure, developed over a series of iterations involving the interactions of a group of participants. These detailed storylines about the future contrast with optimistic, skeletal and largely singular views of the future found in diagrammatic ToCs often encountered...
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...
PFM Reform Through PDIA: What Works and When it WorksHarris, J., & Lawson, A. - 2022, January 31 - Public Financial Management Blog - IMF
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...
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