This paper explores how outcome measurement is understood in several SDC local governance programmes, reviewed in a HELVETAS Learning Project. This critical review assesses the extent to which power issues are recognised, understood and tracked within such programmes and suggests ways to enhance this. This includes being clear about what power and empowerment mean in a particular context, how the way power is implicitly understood in local government programmes can lead to a focus only the more formal and visible dimensions of power, and how the complexity of power means that a more clearly articulated and power-aware theory of change underpinning the intervention is needed.
Design Paper for the impact evaluation of the Root and Tuber Improvement & Marketing Program (RTIMP)
This document, jointly authored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Participatory Development Associates (PDA), lays out the design of the impact evaluation of the Root & Tuber Improvement and Marketing Program (RTIMP) in Ghana. Aiming at improving rural poor people’s livelihoods in Ghana through the development of commodity chains for Roots and Tubers (R&T) supplied by smallholders, the RTIMP consisted of three main areas of work: a) linking of smallholders to old and new markets; b) enhancing smallholder R&T production; and c) enhancing smallholder R&T processing.
The content of this design paper is as follows. The first section briefly describes the impact evaluation approach called PIALA. The second section presents the RTIMP Theory of Change (ToC). The third section continues with the Data Collection Matrix (DCM) laying out the assumptions, evaluation questions and methods. The fourth section presents the multi-stage sampling strategy. The fifth section provided an overview of the methods used to inquire the various populations at different levels. The sixth section outlines the approach taken for data collation, quality monitoring, contribution analysis and rating. Finally, the last section shows the timeline for the evaluation. A bibliography, list of references and annexes are added at the end. The annexes include the desk review note, the sampling frame and procedure, the field research schedule, the district data collation table, and finally, the approved budget.
The Paper was primarily sponsored by IFAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Government of Ghana).
The challenges faced in sanitation and hygiene programmes are numerous and complex. Failures are inevitable. From our experience of working on rapid action learning and research in this sector we have found that when mistakes are shared they are usually those which were uncontrollable and unanticipated i.e. somebody else’s fault.
In this perspectives piece, Jamie Myers and Naomi Vernon from the Sanitation Learning Hub propose a typology of failure alongside criteria for research and learning processes that prioritises timeliness, relevance and actionability. They argue that these can be used together to identify and reflect on failures (and successes) quickly. They provide some practical suggestion for different stakeholders to support a shift towards a more open and reflexive sector, where all types of failures can be shared broadly.