Susan Greene

TDC’s Top Resources

We’ve enjoyed sharing TDC’s Top Resources series on our social media platforms. We hope that you’ve found these useful and informative. We wanted to compile these resources in one list in this blog post so you have an easy reference to browse based on your specific needs.

1. Introduction to Mixed Methods in Impact Evaluation

This first resource Introduction to Mixed Methods in Impact Evaluation by Michael Bamberger is part of a four-part series of notes. Learn how adopting a mixed methods approach to the evaluation process can be an asset in strengthening the validity of findings and recommendations while broadening overall understanding.

2. Monitoring & Evaluation

Our second resource, a Praxis Paper, is Monitoring & Evaluation Training by Paula Haddock. This paper examines the major challenges involved in monitoring & evaluating of trainings. It also looks at commonly used approaches to the process and shares steps to assist at each stage.

3. Participatory Program Evaluation Manual

Our third resource is the Participatory Program Evaluation Manual by Judi Aubel. This manual looks at involving program stakeholders in the evaluation process using a methodology that ensures their active involvement in all steps of the process which can contribute to organizational learning.

4. Project Cycle Management Toolkit

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Our fourth resource is the Project Cycle Management Toolkit by Freer Spreckley. This toolkit serves as a practical workbook on designing, developing, managing, monitoring & evaluating regeneration & development projects. It includes best practice techniques for all the project management phases as well as diagrams, illustrations & templates.

5. Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty

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Our fifth resource is Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty by Judy L. Baker. This is a handbook for practitioners (project managers & policy analysts) equipping them with the necessary tools to measure the outcomes of projects & program interventions targeted to the poor.

6. Emerging Practice in Managing for Development Result

Our sixth resource is Emerging Practice in Managing for Development Results by the OECD-DAC Joint Venture on Managing for Development Results. Use this sourcebook to draw inspiration based on the examples of the experiences shared by different groups as they applied the principles for managing results in their unique circumstances.

7. Ten steps to a Results-Based Monitoring & Evaluation System

Our seventh resource is Ten steps to a Results-Based Monitoring & Evaluation System by Jody Zall Kusek & Ray C. Rist. This handbook serves as a guide to design & build a results-based monitoring & evaluation (M&E) system in the public sector through a comprehensive 10 step model.

8. Guidelines for Conducting a Focus Group

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Our eighth resource is Guidelines for Conducting a Focus Group by Eliot & Associates. This document provides details, instructions and checklists to conduct a high quality focus group. Many samples and examples are also included at various stages.

9. Adaptive Management: What It Means for Civil Society

Our ninth resource is Adaptive Management: What It Means for Civil Society Organisations by Bond. It is an introductory paper providing insight into adaptive management including what it is, when & why it may be appropriate & the requirements for organisations to adopt adaptive approaches.

10. Developing a Theory of Change

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Our tenth resource is Developing a Theory of Change by Keystone Accountability. This guide provides steps to facilitate the development of a theory of change as part of the impact planning, assessment & learning (IPAL) method.

 

We hope our top resources also become some of yours. We’d also be interested in hearing about other related resources that you’ve found particularly helpful. Feel free to comment below with these.

Development Evaluation Making Sense: Beyond the narrative (and the Power Point)

In today’s development space, there is no doubt that there are evaluations and there are evaluations”!

 

Many evaluations make sense and many don’t.

It is all too familiar to read Terms of Reference for evaluations in developing countries, written in such a way that they are simply “output” focused.

These “outputs” usually refer to an evaluation report (and perhaps a PowerPoint slide deck for good measure)! Added to this, is the very short timeline that is given to have these “quick and dirty” evaluations completed.

In fact, many of these end of project type evaluations are treated as an appendage to the project rather than as integral to programme development, influencing policy formulation and stakeholder learning and development.

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What is Development Evaluation?

Welcome to the TDC Evaluation Blog.

Our blogs will seek to bring a development perspective to Development Evaluation by examining some of the key lessons, issues, successes and challenges.

Development evaluation is a sub-discipline of evaluation.

The DAC’s definition of development evaluation has been widely accepted and adopted as being the “systematic and objective assessment of an-ongoing or completed project, program or policy, its design, implementation and results”. According to the OECD (2002), this type of evaluation uses a mix of methods also referred to as methodological triangulation- using several theories, sources or types of information and or types of analysis to verify and substantiate an assessment.

Development Evaluation: Beyond the Templates

Evaluations are plagued by the repeated use of templates that assume “one size fits all”.

This assumption is often based on the view that development happens in a linear “cause and effect” way and as a consequence, predetermined and prescribed templates are used time and again in evaluation design and implementation without sufficient understanding of the nuances and complexity of the development initiatives.

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Development Evaluation as A “Means to What End”?

Evaluation has often times been referred to as a “necessary evil” and has evoked great fear and anxiety in the minds of project staff who believe that they are being placed under the microscope and all their “short-comings” will be unearthed and made public. Furthermore, because of the prevalence of very prescriptive and linear evaluation approaches in developing countries, the “unexpected” and “unplanned” are not embraced as possible social innovations.

Consequently, a very defensive and disengaged stance is taken by project teams who resent the perceived “invasion” by evaluators (oftentimes referred to as “foreigners”) who arrive armed with prescribed templates and models allowing for little adaptation. Similarly, project beneficiaries and other key stakeholders feel that information is “extracted” from them without any future input into the process, findings or recommendations.

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Development Evaluation: Making Evaluation Count!

Are you contemplating or even commissioning an evaluation because it is “expected” of you or “required” by the donor?

Seems like the right “thing” to do as a development practitioner?

Or are you interested in making it “count”?

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