Browse by Theme: Monitoring & Evaluation

By Cari Jo Clark, Sudhindra Sharma, and Kathryn M. Yount

The recent Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty,” and on-going collaboration with CARE colleagues on the Tipping Point randomized controlled trial (RCT) offers an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned in research-program partnerships involving RCTs. We offer our reflections on the possibilities and tensions of RCT designs to evaluate programs designed to prevent critical social problems that primarily affect girls and women—such as child, early and forced marriage and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV). Discussions about RCTs are underway in various fields, including in a special series in the journal World Development. The field of GBV prevention has not yet had the same level of public debate, so we share our contribution here.

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By Anne Sprinkel, Project Director, Tipping Point Initiative; and Dipendra Sharma, Team Lead, Tipping Point Nepal

When we joined CARE’s Failing Forward podcast, we had little idea that we would discuss everything from logistical nightmares to ethical conundrums related to Tipping Point’s Phase 2 research study. On air. Live. And the day after the famous “Randomistas”, Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and Michael Kremer, were awarded a Nobel Prize in economics for their use of experimental methods in evaluation – also known as the randomized control trial (RCT).

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Adaptive management in its various incarnations has long been a focus of a development community that is more and more frequently bumping up against the barriers of complexity, and looking for ways to overcome its challenges. In a field where we consistently have to deal with multifaceted problems, which have many causes and symptoms, we have clung to agendas that seem to offer solutions. Adaptive management appears to be offered as a potential way of dealing with the vast and unpredictable consequences of context.

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By Tom Aston and Jay Goulden

Measuring the impact of advocacy may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Yes advocacy is different, but it’s not necessarily more complex or ‘hard to measure’ than governance or market systems programming, let alone ‘blue marble’ change. We think we’ve made some real progress in this area across CARE, and this blog aims to share some of our insights – and contribute to recent lively discussions across the sector.

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Advocacy and influencing is at the heart of CARE’s program strategy – otherwise we couldn’t achieve our aims of tackling the structural causes of poverty and inequality, and scaling up our impact far beyond the communities where CARE and our partners work directly. But what are the most effective tactics and strategies that CARE uses to influence change? Here’s what we have learned from a recent review of CARE’s most successful advocacy and influencing work.

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By Jay Goulden and Sofia Sprechmann

Virtually all international NGOs count how many people their programmes help: CARE does, and in 2018, our programmes reached nearly 56 million people. But while these numbers help give some sense of the scale of our work, they don’t help either ourselves or others understand the real difference this work is making in the lives of poor and marginalised people. For that, we need to measure the change in the lives of the people for whom we work.

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Many of us start working in humanitarian, development or human rights work because we want to change the world or make our country a fairer, better place to live. But in a world where that work is mostly carved up into discrete “projects”, we often end up being satisfied with so much less. If the project we’re working on meets the targets we have agreed with the donor, if an evaluation shows positive change for those we have worked with directly, we have done good work. But is that enough?

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