One of the trickiest situations in evaluation is when, after the draft report is submitted, it becomes clear that the evaluation team and the commissioning organization have different ideas about what the evaluation should do and how it should do it - and therefore have major differences about what the evaluation report should say.
I come from an agricultural research and development background and am convinced that the complex problems we deal cannot be addressed by one organization alone. It should be a collective action, involving different stakeholders, working towards common objectives. But it is easier said than done!
Personal stories provide a glimpse into how people experience their lives and have long been an important part of evaluations -for example being reported in case studies. The process of collecting stories usually begins with an interview, whether in groups (e.g. through group interviews or “story circles”) or in individual interviews.
Thematic page on Evaluating Policy Influence and Advocacy provides an overview of issues, specific options and examples for evaluating programs, projects and organizations that engage in advocacy and policy influence. It discuss four categories of policy influencing techniques and approaches: Advising, Advocacy, Lobbying and Activism (drawing on the work by Start and Hovland).
An After Action Review is a simple, flexible, and collaborative option for assessing strengths and weaknesses after implementing a project, program or event. After Action Reviews give people who have been involved the time, space and structure to reflect and share lessons learnt to support ongoing organisational learning.
We are often asked about the best method to use for an evaluation. But there is a bewildering array of evaluation methods. For example, this is the list of evaluation methods on Wikipedia.
We are collaborating with InterAction to present a webinar on 'Introduction to Impact Evaluation', drawing on material from the BetterEvaluation project. This is the first of a four-part series of guidance notes and webinars on impact evaluation that InterAction is developing with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.
This week we are at the African Evaluation conference in Accra.
The theme of the conference is 'Rights and Responsibilities'. Today at 4pm in room ER1 we will present a panel session on how the BetterEvaluation project can help us meet our responsibilities to ensure that the right combination of methods are chosen for evaluation and implemented well - and address the question of who has the right to make the decisions about evaluation methods.
The fully interactive site will go live at this URL later in 2012 [Updated - now scheduled for September 2012].