Making adaptive rigour work: Principles and practices for strengthening monitoring, evaluation and learning for adaptive management

This briefing from the Global Learning for Adaptive Management (GLAM) initiative sets out key elements of an ‘adaptive rigour’ approach to adaptive management.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Jo Hall.

Authors and their affiliation

Ramalingam, B., Wild, L. and Buffardi, A. ODI.

Year of publication

2019

Type of resource

  • Discussion paper

Key features

This paper sets out three key elements of an ‘adaptive rigour’ approach:

  • Strengthening the quality of monitoring, evaluation and learning data and systems.
  • Ensuring appropriate investment in monitoring, evaluation and learning across the programme cycle.
  • Strengthening capacities and incentives to ensure the effective use of evidence and learning as part of decision-making, leading ultimately to improved effectiveness.

It explains the Global Learning on Adaptive Management (GLAM) initiative, which aims to strengthen the use of adaptive management by strengthening monitoring, evaluation and learning for adaptive management (called MEL4AM.)

The short Annex is an inventory. It presents the three elements in the form of a series of questions to be asked by those used in designing, developing, implementing and improving monitoring, evaluation and learning systems for adaptive programmes.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;
  • Other – Those managing or using monitoring and evaluation systems

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This resource page is an output of the Global Partnership for Better Monitoring - a co-creation and research project supported by UNICEF. BetterEvaluation is working with UNICEF to try and improve our collective understanding and practice of the monitoring function. The initiative focuses on trying to elevate the monitoring function to make it more visible and to provide information about how to plan, conduct and use monitoring activities well. You can read more about this initiative on the Monitoring thematic page.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The paper is frank about some of the key problems with monitoring systems and proposes some ways of addressing them.

Adaptive rigour means having a documented, transparent trail of intentions, decisions and actions. These things are frequently missing in any kind of monitoring system.

This paper includes some helpful considerations to help design and assess the quality of a monitoring system – including implementing and adapting the system during it’s lifetime.

The inventory in the annex is a potentially useful checklist in assessing the quality of a monitoring system.

 

Source

Ramalingam, B., Wild, L. and Buffardi, A. ODI. (2019). Making adaptive rigour work: Principles and practices for strengthening monitoring, evaluation and learning for adaptive management. ODI. https://odi.org/en/publications/making-adaptive-rigour-work-principles-a...

Ramalingam, B., Wild, L. and Buffardi, A. ODI. (2019). Annex: Making adaptive rigour work: The adaptive rigour inventory – version 1.0. ODI. https://odi.org/en/publications/making-adaptive-rigour-work-principles-a...

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Resource Suggested By
Development evaluation consultant, Canberra.
Canberra, Australia.

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