Oxfam GB’s new Global Performance Framework + their Effectiveness Review reports

“As some of you will be aware, we have been working to develop and implement Oxfam GB’s new Global Performance Framework – designed to enable us to be accountable to a wide range of stakeholders and get better at understanding and communicating the effectiveness of a global portfolio comprised of over 250 programmes and 1,200 associated projects in 55 countries in a realistic, cost-effective, and credible way.  

The framework considers six core indicator areas for the organisation: humanitarian response, adaptation and risk reduction (ARR), livelihood enhancement, women’s empowerment, citizen voice, and polity influencing.  All relevant projects are required to report output data against these areas on an annual basis.  This – referred to as Global Output Reporting (GOR) – enables us to better understand and communicate the scale and scope of much of our work.  

To be fully accountable, however, we still want to understand and evidence whether all this work is bearing fruit.  We realise that this cannot be done by requesting all programmes to collect data against a global set of outcome indicators.   Such an exercise would be resource intensive and difficult to quality control.  Moreover, while it has the potential of generating interesting statistics, there would be no way of directly linking the observed outcome changes back to our work.  Instead, we drill down and rigorously evaluate random samples of our projects under each of the above thematic areas. We call these intensive evaluation processes Effectiveness Reviews.

The first year of effectiveness review reports are now up on the web, with our own Karl Hughes introducing the effort on the Poverty to Power blog today.  Here you will find introductory material, a summary of the results for 2011/12, two-page summaries of each effectiveness review, as well the full reports. Eventually, all the effectiveness reviews we carry out/commission will be available from this site, unless there are good reasons why they cannot be publicly shared, e.g. security issues.

Have a look, and please do send us your comments – either publically on the Poverty to Power blog or through this list serve, or bilaterally.  We very much value having ‘critical friends’ to help us think through and improve these processes.


Claire Hutchings
Global Advisor – Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (Campaigns & Advocacy)
Programme Performance & Accountability Team
Oxfam GB
Work direct: +44 (0) 1865 472204
Skype: claire.hutchings.ogb

One thought on “Oxfam GB’s new Global Performance Framework + their Effectiveness Review reports”

  1. Great to see Oxfam trialling new approaches and doing it so transparently. As other NGOs, we’ve a lot to learn from your method and findings. Thank you for being so open.

    I’ve just blogged about the reviews: http://ngoperformance.org/2012/10/17/hats-off-to-oxfam-but-are-they-asking-the-right-question/

    I strongly support your experiment and transparency. The blog mentions six main reactions and a couple of questions: (a) which decisions & actions will be most influenced by the reviews, and (b) how do the reviews help field staff do their jobs better?

    I’m looking forward to continuing to work on these issues together – they are such a high priority for the sector as a whole.


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