Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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Cultivating Evaluative Learning in Democratic and Empowerment Programs

Session Number: 1723
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Alejandra Garcia diaz villamil [MEL Director - Vital Voices Global Partnership]
Presenter 1: Kirsten Zeiter [Program Officer for Gender, Monitoring and Evaluation - National Democratic Institute (NDI)]
Presenter 2: Sarya Sok [M&E Specialist - U.S. Department of State, DRL/GP]
Presenter 3: Alejandra Garcia diaz villamil [MEL Director - Vital Voices Global Partnership]
Presenter 4: Tina Byenkya [Senior Program Officer - National Democratic Institute]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (06:30 PM - 07:15 PM)
Room: Washington 2

Abstract 1 Title: Addressing Violence Against Women in Politics: A Theory of Change Approach
Presentation Abstract 1:

Based on analysis of program experience in approximately 60 countries, The Gender, Women and Democracy team at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has developed a Gender Theory of Change hypothesis that outlines the areas of action that need to be addressed to achieve women’s meaningful political participation as a necessary step towards empowerment. The hypothesis is that in order to create an enabling environment for women’s equal and active participation in politics, program and policy interventions need to address barriers at three levels: the individual, the institutional, and the socio-cultural. This presentation will apply NDI’s Gender Theory of Change to the issue of Violence against women in politics (VAW-P) - a global problem encompassing all forms of aggression, coercion and intimidation against women as political actors simply because they are women - and identify the root causes of VAW-P existing at the three levels as a step toward developing effective program interventions.

Abstract 2 Title: Exploring organic learning in developing organizational measurement systems
Presentation Abstract 2:

Learning from others requires M&E practitioners to step back from traditional M&E tools--beyond problem analysis, theories of change, PMPs, and indicators--to gain a clearer view of how learning naturally occurs. The Solidarity Center, dedicated to promoting worker rights worldwide, is exploring how to capture organic forms of organizational learning. While the organization-wide measurement system continues evolve, the SC takes stock of promising practices and discovers that cross-regional exchanges ignite learning and accelerate program linkages. This presentation examines an exchange initiated by seasoned SC labor activists who connected garment factory workers in Bangladesh with mutually motivated activists in other countries to reinforce worker solidarity. Might a series of strategically designed exchanges foster organizational learning? How should the SC document and share lessons generated from such exchanges? Learning from others is essential as the SC works toward systematically monitoring and utilizing these lessons.

Abstract 3 Title: Redefining perceptions in young women's leadership
Presentation Abstract 3:

Vital Voices Global Partnership is working toward empowering young women with the leadership skills to effect global progress and invest in their communities across the country. Each year young women are selected to become fellows who go through business and leadership training.To better understand the impact of the program and bring to light the Fellow’s changes in leadership and their networks, Vital Voices piloted an evaluation using the photovoice methodology and social network analysis. The evaluation seeks to answer the following questions: a) to what extent has the fellowship changed and redefined the perception of women’s leadership?;b) how has the fellowship helped bring young women’s leadership vision to life?; c) What is the network of fellows? The presentation will describe the learning in the process of piloting a new methodology and evaluation along with preliminary results. The focus of the presentation on what worked and why it worked.  


Abstract 4 Title: Integrating capacity building opportunities for users of evaluations: An approach to cultivating evaluative learning
Presentation Abstract 4:

There is growing pressure and need to increase use of evaluation by implementing organizations. This is important given the push for implementing organizations to actively learn from their work, adapt to new challenges and improve results as opposed to using evaluation solely as a backward looking exercise. In thinking about increasing the use of evaluation, the evaluation process itself can be viewed as a learning opportunity given that people who are directly involved in evaluations are best positioned to internalize evaluation findings. The presentation will describe the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI) experience working with an external evaluator to integrate capacity building opportunities into an external evaluation for its Nepal democracy assistance program. The focus of the presentation will be on understanding lessons learned around what did and did not work and providing recommendations for intentionally building this approach into program evaluations as an approach to cultivating evaluative learning.

Theme: Learning from Others
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

All organizations are driven by offering evidence that impact was achieved.  Learning how and why the impact was achieved is an important aspect of evaluation. Adapting, sharing and cultivating evaluative learning is an essential piece to both amplify impact and create effective strategies. The National Democratic Institute, Solidarity Center and Vital Voices Global Partnership present a variety of approaches and processes to create evaluative learning that can be acted on to increase organizational impact. Each organization will offer insights on evaluative learning resulting from the use of evaluation, what works or not, and collaborative efforts across stakeholders in different disciplines in democracy and governance and women’s empowerment programs.

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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 16, 2017. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 16, 2017 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2017, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests. The $50 fee will be waived for registrants who planned to travel into the US and experienced international travel issues.