Browse by Theme: Design Monitoring & Evaluation

Payment upon demonstrating a set of agreed results is an emerging contractual modality that many donors are choosing to pursue. DFID together with USAID are leading this discourse and applying this funding approach to an increasing number of thematic areas, especially in health and education. So what does putting evidence at the centre of payment mechanisms mean for monitoring, evaluation and learning?

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At the end of 2016 the Doing Development Differently community held a workshop to take stock. What have we learned over the past two years? Is anything actually different?

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One of the trendiest buzzwords in the development and humanitarian sector at the moment is “adaptive management”, which carries heavy weight in focusing on MEAL practices while remaining neutral to political forces and the increased commercial pressures on aid spending. But what does adaptive management mean in practice and what are the key considerations to bear in mind in relation to programme design and implementation?

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After disasters many international agencies, including CARE, undertake a whole range of projects to help affected people recover, including the construction of houses. These may be described as all sorts of things, including temporary shelter, transitional shelter, durable shelter, semi-permanent shelter, core houses or permanent houses. Which description is used often seems almost arbitrary, decided by a mixture of assumptions about people’s recovery, donor mandates and priorities, government policy and the level of expertise available in agencies. The description rarely matches reality.

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CARE has been working in India for over 65 years, and over that time a large part of its work has been responding to and supporting recovery from disasters. Many of these humanitarian projects have involved emergency shelter and housing reconstruction. Indeed, since 2000, CARE has built over 8,000 houses for some of the most vulnerable people who have lost their homes in disasters. A number of other agencies have undertaken similar construction programmes over the years. So what has the long-term effect of these projects been? Is the approach right, and given both the scale of typical disasters in India and the increasing quality and reach of government response, is the approach still relevant and appropriate?

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A baseline study is more than an assessment of reference values against future progress and an expected impact. It represents the narrative about the context of the project, the stakeholders and the key challenges in delivery. It should be seen as the starting point – the first milestone – in a journey of learning, adapting, improving, and delivering impact. It outlines the starting point of the project and it sets the foundation for the whole M&E framework and its tools, methodologies and sources of information for both tracking inputs delivery and large-scale changes. Given the complexity of such endeavour, this blog presents some key observations that apply to most development projects dealing with heightened variability and uncontrollable external forces.

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Bangladesh has been quite successful in working towards the Millennium Development Goals, even receiving a Millennium Development Goal Award in 2010 for its notable progress toward reducing child mortality (MDG 4). But how far did this progress reach? Does the way we measure progress fail to account for the experience of millions of the country’s poorest people?

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