Design in the face of complexity: Lessons from MENA region

Session Number: ICCE6
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: TIG Multipaper
Session Chair: Gissele Gajate-Garrido [Senior Associate - Abt Associates]
Presenter 1: Heath Prince, Director and Research Scientist [Director and Research Scientist - University of Texas, Austin; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Ray Marshall Center]
Presenter 2: Jen Heeg [Faculty - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Heath Prince, Director and Research Scientist [Director and Research Scientist - University of Texas, Austin; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Ray Marshall Center]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Jen Heeg [Faculty - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee]
Time: Oct 27, 2016 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM)
Room: A708

Abstract 1 Title: Addressing Youth Unemployment: an Evaluation of Post-Arab Spring Policies and Programs in 5 MENA Countries
Presentation Abstract 1:

This mixed-methods evaluation is supported by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), and it is designed to examine the emergence, nature, and effectiveness of recent developments in youth unemployment policy in the MENA region. This evaluation sheds light on the youth employment policy options and choices of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, and Tunisia. Specifically, it looks at how prior economic and social policies implemented in these countries contributed to the high levels of youth unemployment leading up to the Arab Spring, and it asks how and whether, after this series of massive social protests concluded, these new policies and institutions provide innovative solutions to address the ongoing youth unemployment crisis.

 


Abstract 2 Title: Complex Project Design and Complexity-Aware M&E in the Maghreb and Sahel
Presentation Abstract 2:

This paper outlines lessons learned from a two-year (ongoing) process of complex project design, and the concurrent design of complexity-sensitive monitoring and evaluation protocols.  The project is a USAID-funded pilot activity involving 17 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from across the Maghreb-Sahel region (including Algeria, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, and Tunisia).  The pilot activity’s goals include increasing CSO networking, increasing CSO knowledge of local drivers of violent extremism, and increasing CSO capacity to program against violent extremism in their communities.

Given the sensitive topic of violent extremism, the diverse and rapidly changing operating environments in which the CSOs operate, and a dearth of evidence on successful program design for countering violent extremism (CVE), this project requires a complexity-aware approach in order to capture most significant change and unanticipated outcomes.  This paper outlines the challenges and successes of designing a complex multi-country program and its M&E plan, and the combined use of the Most Significant Change and Outcome Harvesting techniques to capture what traditional indicator-based approaches cannot.

 


Audience Level: None

Session Abstract:  Design in the face of complexity: Lessons from MENA region