What is it?
Resources needed for R,M&E might include funding (to engage consultants, to cover travel costs, catering, R,M&E materials), time, expertise, willingness to be involved, and existing data. It is important be clear about available resources, and to be able to estimate the resources that will be required to do the R,M&E tasks well. Resources can then be secured (for example, through annual or project budgets, or seeking buy-in). If the resources required for the R,M&E are more than the resources available, additional resources will need to be found and/or strategies used to reduce the resources required, such as reducing the scope of the R,M&E.
The Evaluation section of the Steps for Planning and Managing Evaluations provides detailed guidance on issues to consider, including suggestions for calculating budgets. The main BetterEvaluation site also covers this topic, with additional links to options for determining resources required, and options for securing resources, including working with local universities, and strategies for reducing costs. There is also a relevant blogpost on doing evaluations on a shoestring. These pages are recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D.
Determining and securing resources and C4D
Applying the C4D principles
|Securing the resources needed, particularly funding, for R,M&E of C4D is a common challenge. This task is a foundational task for being realistic in the approach to R,M&E of C4D.|
It is important to openly acknowledge that participatory approaches generally require more time and more resources. Additional resources may include:
However, researchers (including June Lennie and Jo Tacchi in their book Evaluating Communication for Development: a Framework for Social Change) argue that participatory approaches are often less costly in the long term when the benefits of participation are factored in.
Recommended options and adaptations for C4D
Several good options that would work well for C4D, with little to no adaptation required, are listed on this page. This includes creating an Evaluation budget matrix, and calculating Evaluation cost including time, money and expertise. There is also advice on making the most of existing resources, such as Working with universities to staff the evaluation, and Strategies to reduce costs.
Using existing data
One option for considering resources is a Resources stock take. As part of this process existing resources, including staff time and existing data are listed. Sources of existing data may include:
UNAIDS Registry of Indicators includes some indicators on behaviours and attitudes relating to HIV/AIDS
DHS and MICS
The Barefoot Impact Evaluation methodology for community radio M&E in Mozambique (see the Communication Initiative website & page 34-37 of the Internews Community Media Sustainability Guide) was designed to be a simple and inexpensive process for community radio organisations to manage and implement themselves, without expensive international consultants. It uses a range of clever M&E solutions to build M&E plans around the opportunities that are available. It was designed to be just enough to 'check the pulse' of the radio, but not too burdensome. The techniques used have wide applicability, and could be adapted to suit a range of different C4D NGO and other contexts. Some of the realistic, barefoot techniques include:
- An internal self-assessment 'check-up' using a checklist
- 'Hearing out' the community, where informal interviews with community members on their satisfaction are added onto routine contact with communities
- Registration of callers and letters to the station, with forms left by the phones so that demographic information of callers can be recorded
- Feedback questions on the back of message slips (message slips are primarily to request announcements are made, but 30% of people also filled in the questionnaire on the back)
- Interviews with people living in the staff members' neighbourhood, which enables some spread of the sample
- Interviewing at public events
- Some M&E is undertaken by a 'community mobilizer', who is a paid staff member at the station and is trained to undertake more in-depth focus group discussions and interviews.
This exemplar is consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework in the following ways:
- realistic: the low-cost 'barefoot' approach focuses on make the most of limited resources. Although unable to meet academic standards in terms of sampling and rigour, it is good enough for the context in which is to be used.
- participatory: the approach is intended to be managed and implemented by community radio stations with a nominated community mobilizer.
- learning-based: the key users of the assessments are the community radio stations themselves. If they use it for learning and improving the M&E is meeting the purpose.