Evaluation 2016: Evaluation + Design

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Inside Out and Outside In: Strategies to support evaluation capacity in two international organizations working on advocacy and policy change

Session Number: 1578
Track: Advocacy and Policy Change
Session Type: Panel
Tags: capacity building, Evaluation capacity building, evaluation capacity improvement, evaluation coaching, International and Cross Cultural Evaluat, Nonprofit Evaluations, organisational learning
Session Chair: Rhonda Schlangen [Independent Consultant - Rhonda Schlangen Consulting, LLC]
Discussant: Christine Roehrer [Lead Results Based Management Specialist - Global Environment Facility]
Presenter 1: Anna Williams [Founder and Director - Perspectio]
Presenter 2: Joseph Dickman [Senior Evaluation and Learning Specialist - The World Bank Group, Climate Investment Funds]
Presenter 3: Rhonda Schlangen [Independent Consultant - Rhonda Schlangen Consulting, LLC]
Presenter 4: Elisah Dunn-Georgiou [Vice President of Programs - PAI]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (04:30 PM - 05:15 PM)
Room: A707

Abstract 1 Title: A complicated endeavor on a complex topic: Working from the outside to build momentum for evaluation and learning across a diverse set of international institutions working together on climate change
Presentation Abstract 1:

Anna Williams, an external evaluation and learning consultant, and Joe Dickman, the internal CIF Evaluation and Learning Specialist, will discuss the journey of building an evaluation and learning program of work at the CIF. The journey has involved gaining buy in that this is an important area worth investing in from a wide range of stakeholders, selecting an advisory group to set strategic direction, hiring a senior staff to lead the effort, selecting evaluation and learning priorities, and translating these priorities into an actionable work plan and budget to be implemented between 2016-2019. Selecting and implementing evaluation and learning approaches that will yield valuable lessons in a relatively short period of time is now underway. Anna and Joe will describe the challenges and insights gained from this experience to date.

Abstract 2 Title: Bridging the gaps and then some: Building capacity and support for evaluation and learning from within the Climate Investment Funds
Presentation Abstract 2:

Joe Dickman joined the CIF as the Senior Evaluation and Learning Specialist in March 2016, three years after the evaluation and learning program was first conceptualized and part way through the development of a CIF evaluation and learning business plan. Joe will discuss his experience with navigating a pre-existing set of diverse set of opinions and agendas, gaining agreement and buy-in for evaluation and learning, and building awareness and capacity among a broad ecosystem of stakeholders, many of whom were not previously familiar with either evaluation or learning approaches. He will discuss the types of knowledge and skills needed to build capacity from within, and what factors he sees as critical to the success of this program over the next few years.

Abstract 3 Title: Fit for Purpose: Supporting internal capacity to monitor, evaluate and learn from advocacy
Presentation Abstract 3:

Since 2013, Rhonda has been collaborating with PAI on organizational monitoring, evaluating and learning (MEL) approaches and capacities. The primary users and beneficiaries of PAI’s MEL are the advocacy and research program team, so approaches have to be calibrated to their skill levels and needs, and balance the cost of time and investment by team members with benefits. Rhonda will review:
• PAI’s framework for MEL from its various advocacy and research efforts,
• Development of team-lead review processes designed to produce quality monitoring data and support staff MEL capacity; and
• Critical organizational dimensions necessary to support a relatively low-resource, internally driven MEL process, from the perspective of an external consultant.

Rhonda will also discuss how, as organizational capacity improved and the framework moved to institutionalized organizational practice, her role has also shifted from to a supporting role as technical advisor and coach.

Abstract 4 Title: Internal perspectives on evaluation capacity
Presentation Abstract 4:

Elisha will discuss PAI’s efforts to institutionalize systematic monitoring and learning processes in a half dozen advocacy and research teams working on distinct projects and goals. As teams have become acculturated to these processes, evaluation is increasingly part of regular organizational practice. As a manager, she decided that, rather than sequestering the evaluation function to specialist staff, program staff and others need to be involved in collecting information, analyzing it and drawing lessons, and applying these to adjustments in strategies and plans.

During this session Elisha will focus on:
• PAI’s processes to review its own advocacy progress, and learning from past organizational and program monitoring and evaluation efforts;
• Observations about how reflective processes are enhancing the capacity of program implementers to critically analyze their work and progress toward advocacy goals
• Critical organizational dimensions necessary to support a relatively low-resource, internally-driven MEL process, from the perspective of the internal program manager.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

Organizations working in a variety of sectors increasingly recognize the value of building internal capacity to monitor, evaluate and learn from their work. They are also recognizing that evaluation capacity goes beyond having a framework or indicators, and requires shifts in organizational processes and culture, as well as investment. At the same time, not all organizations have the resources, time or staff to undertake this work.


This panel discusses two experiences designing collaborative evaluation capacity building processes within the Climate Investment Funds, a global climate finance institution, and PAI, a U.S.-based non-governmental advocacy and research organization working to advance global access to reproductive health and rights. In this session, two external evaluators and their internal counterparts will engage session participants in a discussion about:

  • “Inside” and “outside” perspectives about cultivating leadership and buy-in,
  • Creating a learning culture, and
  • Setting actionable evaluation priorities and strategies.

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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 3, 2016. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 3, 2016 all sales are final.