C4D Hub: Support use

What is it?

Planning and pro-active actions are needed to support the utilisation of R,M&E findings. This support might be in the form of events (such as annual reviews) processes (such as written management responses, or recommendations tracking), or structures (such as learning committees or wikis). For evaluation reports and other discrete RM&E activities, time and resources should be built into the budget to account for support beyond report delivery.

General information 

The main BetterEvaluation site includes a range of options (including events, processes and structures) to support use, and recommends some guides. Step 9 of the Steps to Planning and Managing Evaluations presents similar information from a commissioner's perspective, and suggests that evaluation use plans are produced as a product of this step. A key guide on this topic is the UNESCO Guidelines for follow-up to evaluation findings - a four-page paper providing an overview to UNESCO procedures. These pages are recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D R,M&E. 

Supporting the use of findings and C4D

Applying the C4D Principles

Learning-based 

This task contributes to a learning-based approach through taking seriously the tasks associated with supporting the use of findings in future programs and phases. 

Participatory 

How can C4D agencies support use among community and other stakeholders? 

Accountable 

To achieve social accountability it is critical that recommendations from different stakeholders are heard and meaningfully considered by decision makers. Committed and transparent processes to ensure that the findings (both positive and negative) from R,M&E are used is an important part of accountability. 

Recommended options and adaptations for C4D

Several options listed on the BetterEvaluation on supporting use are consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework. In particular:

Annual (or six monthly) reviews: can bring together stakeholders to review RM&E findings on a regular basis. It is consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework in the following ways:

  • participatorythese review meetings can involve key users and other stakeholders
  • complexregular reflection and review processes support adaptive implementation approaches. 

Data use calendar: helps ensure that the timing of data collection and analysis fit with reporting requirements and other opportunities for active use of findings.

  • realistica data-use calendar ensures that the uses of findings are kept in focus, and that data collection, analysis and report writing are realistically planned to meet these needs.

Resource: IDEAS Guide Module 6 guides the creation of a data-use calendar.  

Policy briefings: ensure that findings are translated into recommendations that suit policy makers.

  • realistic tailoring the briefings to be accessible and suit the purpose increases the likelihood of use. 

Recommendations tracking: keeping a transparent record of the responses to and action from recommendations.

  • accountablethis process is useful for ensuring both upward and downward accountability, where there is a responsibility that evidence is taken seriously and reasonable actions are taken.

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