Outcome Harvesting nitty-gritty: Promise and Pitfalls of Participatory Design

Session Number: 2320
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Ricardo Wilson-Grau [Principal - Ricardo Wilson-Grau Consultoria em Gestão Empresarial Ltda]
Presenter 1: Heather Britt [Senior Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Advisor - EnCompass, LLC.]
Presenter 2: Ricardo Wilson-Grau [Principal - Ricardo Wilson-Grau Consultoria em Gestão Empresarial Ltda]
Time: Oct 29, 2016 (10:45 AM - 11:30 AM)
Room: A708

Abstract 1 Title: Lessons learned from evaluation commissioners for creating an enabling environment for Outcome Harvesting
Presentation Abstract 1:

Donors and evaluation commissioners play a critical role in creating an enabling environment for complexity-aware approaches such as Outcome Harvesting (OH). Many of the current institutionalized processes for planning, contracting, managing, reviewing and assessing evaluation are not well suited to OH. What organizational factors support the effective use of OH? How can donors facilitate effective planning, commissioning, management and use OH evaluations? This presentation will share illustrations and lessons for creating enabling environments for OH.

The planning and design stages are especially critical for ensuring a successful OH evaluation. The presentation will outline key challenges and solutions faced by evaluation commissioners including, identifying the right primary intended users and users; ensuring that OH is the right fit for evaluation questions; supporting an iterative design process that includes capacity building and informed participation in design; and limited number of qualified practitioners. Lessons relevant to project implementers will also be covered.


Abstract 2 Title: Lessons learned by an evaluator about ensuring Outcome Harvesting is useful
Presentation Abstract 2:

Outcome Harvesting’s focus on users and their intended uses plus its methodologically participatory nature create a number of specific challenges for the evaluator in each step of the evaluation. The experience of evaluating programmes commissioned by major public and private donors, including CARE, the Ford Foundation, Open Societies Foundations, the World Bank Institute, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, Action Aid, the International Development Research Center, and Oxfam, is the basis for the lessons to be shared. They include contending with issues about evaluator independence, integrity of the process, process rigor, credibility of findings and support for use.


Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract: 

The purpose of this panel is to share practical experiences in negotiating the use of Outcome Harvesting in evaluations. It will provide concrete examples especially relevant to evaluators and commissioners of evaluations about how to customize the right fit between primary intended users’ needs and the Outcome Harvesting approach.

The two presenters are co-authors of the original Outcome Harvesting brief. We will present the lessons learned from the demand side of a major donor commissioning Outcome Harvesting and the supply side of over forty successful applications of the approach. In each presentation, we exemplify guidelines for success. Questions and answers lasting 15 minutes are foreseen.