Outcome monitoring and learning in large multi-stakeholder research programmes: lessons from the PRISE consortium

This discussion paper outlines the key lessons to emerge from designing and applying an outcome monitoring system to the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE) project.

PRISE is a five-year, multi-country, multi-project and multi-partner research consortium that generated new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid regions could be made more equitable and resilient to climate change.

The aim of this system was to continuously capture, analyse and understand changes in stakeholder behaviour and actions around the research activities and results, and how these changes can ultimately lead to sustained shifts in policy and practice. 

This resource and the following information was contributed by Tiina Pasanen.

Authors and their affiliation

  • Tiina Pasanen, Overseas Development Institute
  • Kaia Ambrose, the Caribbean Development Bank, and Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant
  • Samavia Batool, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute
  • Lancelot Ehode Soumelong, Innovations Environnement Développement en Afrique
  • Robina Abuya, Kenya Markets Trust
  • Helen Mountfort, independent consultant
  • Natalie Nathe, Overseas Development Institute

Key features

This paper focuses on outcome monitoring and learning in multi-stakeholder research programmes by highlighting lessons from the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE) research consortium. Research programmes often struggle to track and assess outcome level changes in a systematic manner and, consequently, use the data collected to adapt programme strategies and activities.

Building on the Rapid Outcome Mapping Approach (ROMA), the PRISE project tested the use of outcome mapping to capture changes in stakeholders’ behaviour and actions around the research process and results, and how they can ultimately lead to sustained changes in policy and practice.

The paper identifies a number of challenges, responses and lessons learnt that can be useful for other programmes planning to set up a similar system to measure and understand outcome level changes, particularly with regards to research uptake and policy influence.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This resource can be used for several purposes:

  1. As a practical guide for M&E managers and evaluators on how to design an outcome monitoring system for a programme that has several stakeholder groups. This includes step-by-step guide and practical tips.
  2. To learn about outcome mapping and how it can be applied in policy research programmes.
  3. To understand what are some of the common challenges when defining and tracking outcomes in complicated (as in large, multi-project, multi-country) research consortia and how to address them.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

This paper goes beyond conceptual discussions and includes practical advice how one can design and manage an outcome monitoring system. For example, the paper provides tips on how to set up a simple online system to record and store observations.


Pasanen, T., Ambrose, K., Batool, S., Soumelong, L. E., Abuya, R., Mountford, H., and Nathe, N. (2018). Outcome monitoring and learning in large multi-stakeholder research programmes: lessons from the PRISE consortium. PRISE. Retrieved from https://www.odi.org/publications/11258-outcome-monitoring-and-learning-l...