Browse by Theme: Inclusive Governance

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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The Doing Development Different (DDD) community emerged in August 2014 and advocates that (a) the barriers to development are as much political as technical; (b) international development agencies therefore need to design programmes to be problem-driven, locally led, flexible and adaptive, and politically smart. As Duncan Green mentioned in his blog on 4 August, NGOs have turned up late to the party, but we are doing plenty on the ground that fits under the DDD umbrella. Plus, much of what is supposedly “different” are things we ought to be doing anyway.

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On the plane to Accra just over a week ago I read Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me (the origin of the term “mansplaining”), and it struck a chord with me. A colleague from Kenya who hadn’t heard the term before asked if there was such a thing as “white-splaining”. And, indeed, there is. But, recently, I’ve been concerned with another phenomenon: “toolsplaining”.

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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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