Browse by Theme: Citizen Voice & Participation

In August this year, CARE International in Ghana together with its partners – OXFAM and ISODEC – commenced a pilot evaluation of the USAID-funded Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project, using an innovative approach to impact evaluation called Contribution Tracing. Here’s what we did, and five key lessons we learned.

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In this final blog in the 3-part blog series on Contribution Tracing, we want to show you how an ancient monk, who has been dead for over 250 years, can help us to find data with the highest probative value – in other words, helps us find strong, reliable evidence.

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In the second in this 3-part blog series on Contribution Tracing we turn our attention to finding out which items of evidence are the most powerful.

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This 3-part blog series highlights a new approach to impact evaluation called Contribution Tracing. The blog series explains key steps in Contribution Tracing that can guide evaluators, and those commissioning evaluations, to avoid common data traps, by identifying and gathering only the strongest data.

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In the development community, we typically interpret a government pushing for greater decentralisation as a positive step for governance reform and an opening for greater citizen participation and voice. Donors invest considerable funds in supporting the decentralisation processes of global governments, and NGOs focus energy and resources on preparing citizens to influence public decision-making as it comes closer to them.

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For those of us that sing the praises of social accountability (citizen-driven initiatives to hold those in power to account), making a claim about “impact” (or transformative change) is a challenge we face on a daily basis. And CARE’s not alone. The title of the first session at an NGO political economy analysis working group at which I’m presenting this week (“Building the Evidence-base for Social Accountability”) speaks to the same concern.

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Today, ministers and senior diplomats from around the world meet with the UN, EU and states involved in the Syrian conflict for a high-level Conference (5 April) to identify ways forward on the crisis. This happens as news from Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib in Syria suggests that an aerial bombardment using chemical weapons has left over 50 dead, and the situation escalates across multiple besieged areas across the country. At the top of the agenda is the question of ‘reconstruction’ – yet what does ‘reconstruction’ mean in a country still at war?

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