27 Oct Symposium: NGO-IDEAs – grassroots based impact monitoring

Date: 27 October 2011
Venue: Bonn, Germany

Dear all,
For the last three years, 14 German NGOs with 40 NGOs from Asia and Africa have been working to develop tools for assessing change and its causes, in short: impact monitoring that were to be specifically relevant for NGOs. Under the name of NGO-IDEAs, tools were developed through which target groups set their own goals and monitor their achievements. NGOs  and in some cases government agencies use the data generated for quantitative and qualitative assessment and reporting on outcome/impact.
Filtering according to poverty category is possible. The tools have been successfully applied in various sectors (from Saving and Credit through lactating mothers and primary schools to the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities). NGOs in East Africa, South Asia and the Philippines are now sustaining the application of the tools and spread them spontaneously to other projects and organisations. Programs have been improved through the tools and the application itself leads to more ownership and autonomy of grassroot organisations.
On Oct 27, the results of the 3-year phase will be discussed publicly. Two partners Mary Mate, Catholic Diocese of Embu; Kenya and Alma de la Paz, Kapwa Upliftment Foundation, Philippines) will present their experiences and international experts will discuss the approach. Speakers and Panel: Christiane Bögemann-Hagedorn, Head of Civil Society and Economy Department and Michaela Zintl, Head of Evaluation Department (BMZ/German Ministry for Development), Robert Chambers IDS Sussex), Cecile Kusters (Centre of Development Innovation,Wageningen), Susanne Neubert (National Opinion Research Centre at the University of Chicago, Dörte Segebart, Freie Universität, Berlin).
Some places are still available. More information and the registration form: http://www.ngo-ideas.net/news/, items of 10/10/2011 and 06/30/2011.
Publications can be downloaded from www.ngo-ideas.net/publications. The symposium focuses on the Impact Toolbox – one of three main products of NGO-IDEAs.

Check the Impact Toolbox: http://www.ngo-ideas.net/impact_toolbox/ and
the Field Experience: http://www.ngo-ideas.net/field_experiences/

NGO-IDEAs also has an advisory role to VENRO, the German development NGO’s umbrella body. VENRO recently published a position paper “Quality before Proof” that sets “empowerment” as one of four purposes of impact observation. http://www.venro.de/evaluation.html. The symposium takes place in the wider context of this paper that has generated some discussion in Germany.

Kind regards

Bernward Causemann/NGO-IDEAs

Bernward Causemann, www.causemann.org

Tools and Methods for Evaluating the Efficiency of Development Interventions

Palenberg, M. (2011),  Evaluation Working Papers. Bonn: Bundesministe-rium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung. Available as pdf.


Previous BMZ Evaluation Working Papers have focused on measuring impact. The present paper explores approaches for assessing efficiency. Efficiency is a powerful concept for decision making and ex-post assessments of development interventions but, nevertheless, often treated rather superficially in project appraisal, project completion and evaluation reports. Assessing efficiency is not an easy task but with potential for improvements, as the report shows. Starting with definitions and the theoretical foundations the author proposes a three level classification related to the analytical power of efficiency analysis methods. Based on an extensive literature review and a broad range of interviews, the report identifies and describes 15 distinct methods and explains how they can be used to assess efficiency. It concludes with an overall assessment of the methods described and with recommendations for their application and further development.

Launch of online database of research accountability tools

Announcement: 7 September: launch of online database of research accountability tools

The One World Trust, with support from the IDRC, has created an interactive, online database of tools to help organisations conducting policy relevant research become more accountable.

Processes of innovation and research are fundamental to improvements in quality of life and to creating a better society. But to realise these benefits, the quality of research alone is not enough. Organisations engaged in policy-relevant research and innovation must continually take into account and balance the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders: from the intended research users, to their clients and donors, to the research community and the research participants.  Responsiveness to all of these is crucial if they are to be legitimate and effective. In this, accountable processes are as important as high quality research products.

The Trust has built the online accountability database to support researchers, campaigners and research managers to think through the way they use evidence to influence policy in an accountable way. The database takes into account that research organisations are increasingly diverse – they are no longer just  universities, but private companies, public institutes and non-profit think-tanks. No single framework can encompass this diversity.

Instead, the database provides an inventory of over two hundred tools, standards and processes within a broad, overarching accountability framework. With a dynamic interface and several search functions, it allows users to identify aspects of accountability that interests them, and provides ideas to improve their accountability in this context. Each tool is supported by sources and further reading.

We also encourage engagement with and discussion on the database content, through allowing users to comment on individual tools, or to submit their own tools, processes and standards for inclusion.

The database is an output of a three-year project, titled “Accountability Principles for Research Organisations.” Working with partners across the globe, the project has generated an accountability framework which is sufficiently flexible to apply to many contexts and different organisations.

The database will be available online from the 7 September.

For more information about the project please feel free to contact us at bwhitty@oneworldtrust.org. For the database, please visit www.oneworldtrust.org/apro

Smart Tools: For evaluating information projects, products and services

Produced by CTA, KIT, IICD. 2nd (2009) edition

PDF version available online

“About the Toolkit

The Smart Toolkit focuses on the evaluation of information projects, products and services from a learning perspective. It looks at evaluation within the context of the overall project cycle, from project planning and implementation to monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment, and then at the evaluation process itself, the tools involved and examples of their application.The theme running throughout the toolkit is:

Participatory evaluation for learning and impact Continue reading “Smart Tools: For evaluating information projects, products and services”