C4D Hub: Develop R,MandE capacity

What is it?

Assessing the capacity, and support for the capacity development needs, of organizations and key partners and community groups and others involved in the R,M&E will help to increase the effectiveness, quality, rigour and utilisation of the overall R,M&E processes and outcomes. Capacity refers to: human capacities (knowledge and skills), organizational capacities (technical infrastructure and processes) and social capacities (supportive networks and relationships). It also means fostering an evaluation and learning culture by strengthening the whole organization and its R,M&E systems and improving coordination, cooperation and collaboration between internal and external agents and groups.

General Information

The main BetterEvaluation site on developing evaluation capacity lists a range of options, which are useful for thinking about capacity development as more that training and workshops. This page is recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D. 

R,M&E Capacity Development and C4D

Applying the C4D Evaluation Principles

Learning-based: 

Including capacity development processes in C4D R,M&E systems is a key part of being learning-based. This process should begin with a preliminary assessment of R,M&E capacities of local groups and institutions. What sort of ongoing training, support or mentoring might be needed? What sorts of local research training institutions are available? How can this best be delivered? 

Participatory 

Capacity development is an important task since participatory approaches will often depend on capacity building of stakeholders. All learning events, structures and processes should be inclusive of community groups and other implementers and planners of C4D. 

Holistic 

It is important to take a whole of system approach to R,M&E capacity development of C4D. It can be useful to consider: 

  • What type of capacity development is needed, for whom, and at what level?

  • How can capacity development be most effectively built into the activities of our organization and its R,M&E systems and processes?

  • How will evaluation capacity be sustained, especially if key staff leaves our organization?

Realistic 

Not all capacity building work should start from scratch. What existing systems and ‘communities of practice’ can be used to enhance capacities and strengthen networks? Prior to implementing capacity building ensure a capacity needs assessment (which could be rapid) has been undertaken. 

Complexity 

Capacity building efforts need to support people and organisations to become more aware of how to work with the complexity of social change. This may mean capacity building in understanding and using complexity concepts and language, and exploring different ways of thinking about and responding to social change.

Critical 

A lack of local capacity can lead to exclusion of local voices and perspectives. Partnerships and capacity building within local community groups and institutions is important so that so that there is genuine inclusion and contribution of local voices and perspectives. Pay critical attention to power dynamics in capacity building partnerships. 

C4D Resources and Examples

The following networks and resources are a good starting point for strengthening R,M&E Capacity Development: How could you build on: 

  • The C4D Network. A global network of scholars, consultants and practitioners. The C4D Network regularly posts and sends emails about seminars, courses, new guides, resources, and other news. Members of the C4D Network also organise 'meetups' in various cities throughout the year. It is possible to join as a free or paid member. 
  • The Communication InitiativeBest known as an online repository of C4D resources, research, news and much more; and for the regular Drum Beat newsletter. It also includes network/group spaces for discussion.
  • The Learning Lab - UNICEF Malawi (C4D)An initiative by the UNICEF Malawi C4D team (run by Change Makers) that brought together UNICEF program teams, government partners and NGO partners for a highly reflexive five day workshop. 
  • UNICEF C4D Facebook GroupA group for UNICEF C4D staff, partners and regular consultants, with regular posts about resources, ideas and other news. You must request and be approved by administrators to join. 
  • University mentoring partnerships. Partnerships between international universities with extensive experience in research partnering with local universities/colleges can bring a good mix of technical and local expertise, and can involve mentoring processes to build local capacity at institutional level and in the community through engaging local community members as researchers. Read more about an example of this from UNICEF Tanzania. 
  • My Rights My Voice Completion Report - which included both professional evaluators and youth peer evaluators to conduct the evaluation. Click here to go directly the My Rights My Voice report (see page 52), or read a summary page about this exemplar. This example is consistent with the C4D Evaluation framework in relation to this task in the following ways
    • learning-based: youth peer-evaluators were trained to use appropriate data collection tools. In countries where access by international evaluators was restricted due to visa and safety issues, a senior national evaluator conducted the fieldwork with distance coaching from the core evaluation team.

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