adaptive management

Why do we need more real-time evaluation?

Patricia Rogers's picture 15th April 2021 by Patricia Rogers

We’re currently going through a global period of rapid change and adaption, due in large part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives and work. As our world is changing, many individuals and organisations are finding that traditional evaluation methods are not meeting the needs of rapidly changing implementation or brand new interventions where interventions are being designed as they are implemented. It’s in this context that it’s become important to use evidence and support learning in real-time.

Real-time evaluation (Working paper #4)

Real-time evaluation (RTE) has been practised and documented over the past 20 years, initially in humanitarian projects. There is now increasing interest in learning from this experience to inform evaluations in other areas, especially in development. This paper outlines the different ways in which RTE has been defined and is understood to work. It analyses how RTE is similar to and different from other approaches to supporting evidence-informed action. It discusses when it is appropriate to use RTE and what is needed to make it work well.

The work reported on in this paper has benefitted from a technical cooperation grant provided by Evaluation Department, Norwegian Agency for Development (Norad) to Better Evaluation.  This work is a product of the staff of Better Evaluation with external contribution from Evaluation Department, Norad.  The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this work do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad.

Read more.

Adaptive management

Adaptive management

The term 'adaptive management' refers to adaptation that goes beyond the usual adaptation involved in good management - modifying plans in response to changes in circumstances or understanding, and using information to inform these decisions.

Adaptive management refers to an approach to managing under conditions of ongoing uncertainty which represents a paradigm shift from classic, linear approaches to planning, implementation and evaluation. 

Strategy testing: An innovative approach to monitoring highly flexible aid programs

Strategy Testing (ST) is a monitoring system developed by the The Asia Foundation to track programs that are using a highly iterative, adaptive approach to address complex development problems. This paper details when and how strategy testing is done and offers case examples and insights into using ST for reflection, reassessment and program adjustments as needed to increase the likelihood of achieving results when addressing complex, fluid and often intensely political problems.