C4D Hub: Establish Decision making processes

What is it?

Many decisions will need to be made in the course of planning and implementing research monitoring and evaluation. To think about and implement effective decisions it is useful consider the following: a) to be explicit about and agree on what structures and processes will be used to make decisions b) which specific participants should be/could be involved in the various decision making processes c) to distinguish between the decision-making group (which might be labelled a steering group or a task force) and an advisory group (which can provide technical or cultural advice, but cannot make decisions) d) to be clear about how decisions will be made, which could be on the basis of consensus (which aims to find decisions which everyone can accept), hierarchical  (on the basis of formal positions of authority) or majority.

General information

This page outlines generalist options in relation to types of decision making structures, processes for exploring issues, and processes for making decisions. Step 1 of the Commissioning Steps on BetterEvaluation guides the development of the follow products:

  • Evaluation management plan
  • Decision making matrix
  • List of responsibilities for the evaluation manager
  • List of responsibilities for the evaluator
  • Information about Joint Evaluations towards an Evaluation Partnership Agreement

These pages are recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D. 

Decision Making Processes and C4D

Applying the C4D principles

Participatory   

The C4D Evaluation Framework would encourage participatory decision making processes where possible. This means that stakeholders are actively engaged in decision making about the framing and design of R,M&E. This task is an opportunity to formalise the involvement of stakeholders in decision making.

Critical  

Critically reflect on and remove any barriers to participation in decision making (e.g. geography of meeting locations, frequency of the meetings, logistics, language, etc.).

 

Learning based  

Decision making processes and structures (such as an ongoing technical working group) should emphasise leadership and responsibilities for knowledge management, exchange and utilisation to ensure continuous learning, mutual understanding and creative ideas and thinking.  

 

Complex  

Decision-making about how the evaluation will be done (including framing its purpose and questions, choosing an evaluation team, approving an evaluation plan and an evaluation report) may need to include different stakeholders. If the key stakeholders change, the decision making structures and processes might need to be flexible. Sometimes we may need to revisit decisions that have already been made.   

Recommended options and adaptations for C4D

Advisory and working groups/committees:

Consider the creation of one or more of the following:

Joint Evaluations

The Commissioner's Guide provides useful information for thinking about different kinds of joint evaluations and how this influences decision making processes. Examples include:

 

Decision Making Matrix:

Consider creating a decision making matrix as outlined in the example below. This can be useful to:

  • set out the kinds of decisions that will need to be made about the R,M&E (in this case, an evaluation).
  • clarify the roles of different groups in the different decisions.

For more see Step 1 of the Commissioning Steps on BetterEvaluation

Example:

Decisions

Technical Working Group (TWG)

Sub-group (expert advisory) TWG

Evaluation team

Focus of evaluation

Consulted

 

Discusses/ dialogue

 

Consensus agreement

Proposes

Informed

Selection criteria for evaluator/evaluation team

Consulted

 

Discusses/ dialogue/

 

Consensus agreement

Proposes

N/A

Choosing evaluator/evaluation team

Consulted

Consulted

 

Discusses/ dialogue/

 

Consensus agreement

N/A

Evaluation design

Consulted

Consulted

 

Discusses/ dialogue/

 

Consensus agreement

Proposes

Executes

Evaluation report

Consulted

Consensus agreement

Propose

Execute

Release of report and data

Approves

Informed

Informed

 

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