Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Collecting Data on Sensitive/Vulnerable Populations: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of International Development Evaluation to Build Trust, Reduce the Risk of Harm, and Produce Meaningful Data Along the Way

Session Number: 2126
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Lynne Franco [EnCompass LLC]
Discussant: Lynne Franco [EnCompass LLC]
Presenter 1: Nidal Karim [CARE USA]
Presenter 2: Laura L. Adams [USAID]
Presenter 3: Jonathan Jones [CAMRIS International]
Time: Nov 11, 2015 (04:30 PM - 06:00 PM)
Room: Columbus H

Abstract 1 Title: Practical Guidance for Gender Based Violence (GBV) Monitoring and Mitigation for International Development Sectoral Programs
Presentation Abstract 1: A gender focus is more widely being integrated into international development programming across sectors such as education, livelihoods, environment and natural resources. Practitioners are thus encountering GBV as an issue affecting program implementation and success, raising concerns from a Do No Harm perspective. CARE, a multi-sectoral international non-government organization, recently undertook a process to develop guidance for GBV monitoring and mitigation in sectoral programs. This involved a review of existing guidance, convening academic and programming experts to generate recommendations for sectoral programs, and a collaborative review process. The resulting guidance document provides practical and ethical recommendations and best practices for GBV monitoring and mitigation in sectoral programs. Key recommendations will be presented and participants will be invited to provide input and feedback and share their experiences with the challenges and successes of handling GBV within sectoral programs.
Abstract 2 Title: Monitoring and Evaluation Challenges for LGBTI Human Rights Foreign Assistance
Presentation Abstract 2: The U.S. government spends millions of dollars on programs that support LGBTI civil society organizations in other countries. However, working with LGBTI civil societies abroad poses a number of challenges that work against good monitoring and evaluation being a part of program implementation: 1) in most countries, LGBTI civil society is less than ten years old and organizations have little capacity beyond service provision; 2) many LGBTI organizations are not allowed to legally register, blocking some M&E funding; 3) stigma, violence and surveillance mean heightened physical and data security concerns and a lack of support from other civil society organizations; 4) external evaluation poses problems of trust, security, and understanding of local context. This presentation will suggest ways around these obstacles and present lessons learned from the M&E experience of LGBTI human rights assistance from USAID.
Abstract 3 Title: Evaluating Political Party Development in a Post-Revolutionary Country: Overcoming Sensitivities to Produce Meaningful Data
Presentation Abstract 3: Political parties in newly democratizing countries are often weak and ineffective, and international democracy assistance programming often focuses on this critical link in the democratic system. Evaluations of political party programs typically involve data collection on party members at headquarter and branch levels. However, political parties in burgeoning democracies tend to have to-down leadership structures and are typically quite volatile. In such situations, party members are often reluctant to discuss internal challenges of their parties for fear of reprisal. This presentation will discuss a successful data collection effort in February 2015 that focused on political party members of a post-revolutionary country. Important lessons were learned from this effort, including techniques for establishing trust with party leadership who can act as gate keepers for meetings with local membership, respecting different comfort levels members may have with the data collection effort, (and adapting accordingly), careful wording of interview questions, and the important role local evaluators can play in the process.
Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract: 

Evaluators are sometimes involved in monitoring or evaluation that is focused on sensitive or vulnerable populations. Unique challenges often occur throughout the M&E lifecycle: instrument design, recruitment of respondents, data security, reporting, and use. Data collection instruments must be developed, not just with an eye to reliability and validity, but also with a focus on the sensitivity of the topic. Respondents might be reluctant to participate in data collection for fear of mistreatment afterwards, and those that do come forward might not be representative of a wider population. Public reporting of results might lead to a backlash against a vulnerable population. This panel will feature lessons learned and best practices from international development evaluators who are involved in monitoring and evaluation that focuses on sensitive populations: LBGTI activists receiving U.S foreign assistance, victims of gender based violence, and political party members in a post-revolutionary country.  



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