However, evaluating the quality of STI is not straightforward for development organizations. Here, I would like to share my thoughts on how development organizations could meaningfully evaluate STI in their work.
Many development organizations do not generate STI but gather and share STI knowledge. They provide platforms for knowledge exchange and disseminate the knowledge through knowledge products, such as publications and databases. Evaluating the technical rigour of headquarters-based knowledge products is relatively straightforward. However, focusing on the technical rigor of the headquarter-based knowledge products alone is not adequate in evaluating the STI in the development organizations. This is because
Prior to the pandemic, traveling and face-to-face meetings with stakeholders allowed evaluation managers a degree of flexibility and control over evaluations. Since then, managers have had to adjust evaluation design to ensure remote oversight and quality control. I recently conducted a complex evaluation without travels or face-to-face meetings with stakeholders and evaluation team members. Since the restrictions are likely to continue, I would like to share my experience.
About the evaluation
The evaluation looked at FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme. This programme allows FAO to draw from its regular programme resources and respond to the emergency needs of member countries. It
I had two related questions before attending this workshop and learning exchange on users of outcome mapping and outcome harvesting:
1. What are the similarities and differences between the outcome-based approaches and other conventional approaches such as result-based and log-frame?
2. Can we use outcome-based approaches in evaluating complex development programmes?
I found that the outcome-based approaches are not very different from the other approaches at the concept level. However, there are some differences at the methodology level. I think this is because outcome-based approaches are adaptive approaches while conventional theory-based approaches are based-on deductive reasoning. More specifically:
What is a Theory of Change?
I looked around the web to find out what definitions are used.
Below is my favourite, from betterevaluation.org:
"A theory of change explains how activities are understood to produce a series of results that contribute to achieving the final intended impacts. It can be developed for any level of intervention – an event, a project, a programme, a policy, a strategy or an organization".
At our office, a Theory of Change typically visualizes ‘how the project is supposed to work’.
Is our Theory of Change useful?
The final output of our evaluation exercise