Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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The use of SenseMaker for periodic internal evaluation processes in international development projects

Session Number: 1971
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Guy O'Grady Sharrock [Senior Advisor for Learning - Catholic Relief Services]
Presenter 1: Jeroen De Wilde, Quality Coordinator [Quality Coordinator - VIA Don Bosco]
Presenter 2: Tony Quinlan [Chief Storyteller - Narrate]
Presenter 3: Steff G.M. Deprez [Lead Consultant - Voices That Count ]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Delaware B

Abstract 1 Title: Understanding and measuring youth empowerment through micro-narratives. The use of SenseMaker within VIA DON BOSCO’s multi-country program (2017-2022)
Presentation Abstract 1:

Via Don Bosco runs a 5-year (2017-2021) multi-country program which aims to professionally and socially integrate vulnerable youth—both girls and boys—in 11 countries across Latin America and Africa. To assess the program’s impact on youth, VIA Don Bosco uses SenseMaker as an integral part of internal formal processes for baseline, mid-term and end-line evaluation. In Bolivia and Madagascar, SenseMaker was used at baseline in conjunction with a survey questionnaire to: (i) understand and measure empowerment through the eyes of youth; and (ii) define improved empowerment indicators that can be used from 2019 onwards in all 11 countries where the program is implemented. This panel presentation will highlight the design decisions that were taken in support of this mixed-method approach for periodic evaluation as well as the SenseMaker analysis process and how the results were used in the program.

Abstract 2 Title: Evaluating of the effect of UNDP livelihood programmes on livelihood and choices made by Syrian refugee and Jordanian populations in communities in Jordan
Presentation Abstract 2:

In 2016 UNDP Jordan began implementing two training programmes across three regions in Jordan focused at strengthening livelihoods: ‘Emergency Employment Project through the 3X6 approach’ and ‘Skills Exchange of Vulnerable Hosting Communities and Syrian Refugees for Enhancing Livelihoods and Social Cohesion’. These programmes were designed to support UNDP multi-sectoral approach to strengthen resilience and improve livelihoods of Syrian refugee populations and their host communities in Jordan.

To understand the complex dynamics and contribution of both programmes to livelihood sustainability in communities across three regions, UNDP opted for a SenseMaker evaluation study comprising of baseline and endline assessments of behaviors, attitudes and culture. Gathered data and participatory baseline analysis enabled to adjust programme design immediately before training commenced; while analysis of the endline data highlighted the value and contribution of the program participation to livelihood as perceived by beneficiaries.

Abstract 3 Title: Applying Binding, Bonding and Bridging (A3Bs) for Peace in Mindanao Project – Using SenseMaker as part of the baseline process (CRS Philippines) 
Presentation Abstract 3:

CRS Philippines is implementing a three-year (2016-2019) peacebuilding project in Mindanao with funding from USAID’s Conflict Management and Mitigation Office. The project works to improve relationships between conflicting groups by employing people-to-people approaches and mobilizing community actors for peace and reconciliation while also strengthening local governance institutions to resolve conflict. The nature of peacebuilding in Mindanao reflects complex environments with dynamic contexts whose effects are often unpredictable.  SenseMaker is integrated into the project’s M&E system complementing more conventional methods. SenseMaker is used annually to contribute to the understanding of the drivers, impacts and influencers of conflict and improved relationships in communitiesSenseMaker findings feed directly into key moments of project learning and decision making. The presentation will highlight the added-value of SenseMaker in the project’s baseline process, from design and analysis to translating results into responsive action points and embedding these into conflict resolution methods.

Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Session Abstract (150 words): 

SenseMaker is an innovative narrative-based monitoring, evaluation and decision-making approach that was developed to guide interventions in complex operating systems and environments. In this panel, we will present and discuss how SenseMaker is used to support internal formal evaluation processes in three international development projects: a youth empowerment program in Madagascar and Bolivia (Via Don Bosco), a livelihoods program in Jordan (UNDP) and a peacebuilding project in Mindanao, Philippines (CRS). The panel will highlight how SenseMaker was designed for periodic evaluation purposes, how the data collection process was organised, and how the results/insights both enriched the evaluation process and fostered more nuanced learning and action for improved program quality and impact. In addition, each case will present how it has ensured sufficient internal capacity to continue the periodic use of SenseMaker throughout the project or program lifespan.

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