Improving the Evaluability of INGO Empowerment and Accountability Programmes

Shutt, C. and McGee, R. CDI Practice Paper 1 March 2013 Publisher IDS Available as pdf (109kb)

This CDI Practice Paper is based on an analysis of international NGO (INGO) evaluation practice in empowerment and accountability (E&A) programmes commissioned by CARE UK, Christian Aid, Plan UK and World Vision UK. It reviews evaluation debates and their implications for INGOs. The authors argue that if INGOs are to successfully ‘measure’ or assess outcomes and impacts of E&A programmes, they need to shift attention from methods to developing more holistic and complexity-informed evaluation strategies during programme design. Final evaluations or impact assessments are no longer discrete activities, but part of longer-term learning processes. Given the weak evaluation capacity within the international development sector, this CDI Practice Paper concludes that institutional donors must have realistic expectations and support INGOs to develop their evaluation capacity in keeping with cost–benefit considerations. Donors might also need to reconsider the merits of trying to evaluate the ‘impact’ of ‘demand-side’ NGO governance programmes independently of potentially complementary ‘supply-side’ governance initiatives.

See also: Tools and Guidelines for Improving the Evaluability of INGO Empowerment and Accountability Programmes Centre for Development Impact, Practice paper. No.1 Annex March 2013

Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGOAccountability for Development Effectiveness

– Exploring innovations in Australian NGO accountability for development effectiveness

by Chris Roche, ACFID research paper, 2010

From the Preface

“This research paper represents the latest chapter in a body of work, led by ACFID’s Development Practice Committee (DPC), focused on Australian NGO program quality and effectiveness. Over the past 10 years DPC has engaged the sector in a series of consultations and discrete research phases to define our effectiveness and identify the principles, program strategies, standards of engagement and organisational management practices which underpin it.

The objective of the current research was to capture and share cutting edge practice in demonstrating Australian NGO effectiveness through innovative forms of accountability and social learning, in which the views of those who are ultimately meant to benefit were central. ACFID member agencies participated through submitting examples of their attempts to improve downward accountability.

The findings presented in this report will contribute to ACFID member agencies’ journey of continual improvement of our collective effectiveness. It will do this through engaging with senior NGO managers and AusAID in the analysis of the findings, as well as contributing to the international work on CSO Development Effectiveness. The next research phase will be in partnership with an academic institution to undertake a more rigorous examination of a sample of the case studies and the organisational enablers and obstacles to improving our effectiveness.”

See also Chris Roche’s new guest posting on the (Australian based) Development Policy Centre’s Development Policy Blog, titled “Changing the rules of the game?” In this blog he follows up on issues raised in the above paper.

INTRAC workshop: Accountability without Impact?

Date: Date: 23 November 2010
Venue: Venue: St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK

There are many debates about the ‘So what?’ question, in terms of concerns about the actual impact of international cooperation. What is the development sector actually achieving in terms of improving the lives of the poor? Have we focused on proving accountability without truly pursuing ways to assess impact? What can we do about this?

This workshop will draw on practitioner experiences to assess the state of the current debate, asking where we are now; explore forward-thinking case studies; and facilitate productive discussion and debate about where we want to be, and how to move towards that. The workshop will be attended by senior INGO managers and policy makers, from Europe.

For further information click here . Contact:

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