Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Let’s Agree in Principle: Principles-Focused Evaluation for Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives

Session Number: 1499
Track: Systems in Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: collaboration, complexity, international collaboration, Journalism, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), principles focused evaluation
Session Chair: Heather Britt [Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist - Social Solutions International]
Discussant: Michael Quinn Patton [Founder & Director - Utilization-Focused Evaluation]
Presenter 1: Heather Britt [Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist - Social Solutions International]
Presenter 2: Yve Susskind [Owner/Consultant - Praxis Associates, LLC]
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: CC M100 A

Abstract 1 Title: Designing a Principles-focused M&E System
Presentation Abstract 1:

Countering violent extremism (CVE) is a complex problem spanning all sectors of society and crossing national borders. One country’s “National CVE Center” is mandated to track implementation of its national CVE action plan. Implementation of the national action plan involves actors from all levels government, civil society, the private sector, international donors and governments of neighboring countries. When designing the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for the national action plan, action items assigned to actors with sole authority to implement will be tracked with performance monitoring. Action items involving voluntary joint action were crafted as principles and principle-focused monitoring will track progress. The presentation discusses design of national action plan tracker, an M&E system that integrates principles (useful in situations where influence is shared among multiple stakeholders) and performance measures (useful when action is carried out under a centralized authority).


Abstract 2 Title: Benefits & Challenges of Principles-focused Evaluation with Informal Networks
Presentation Abstract 2:

In 2015, a group of maverick journalists, community activists, artists, technologists, educators, and students came together to imagine journalism that partners with communities, rather than speaking for and to them. They formed a network that continues to inspire members and spawn new initiatives. The network’s diverse members are drawn together by common values, shared goals and personal connections, rather than by a formal structure of accountability. Individual members of the network are accountable to other structures of governance (e.g., boards, shareholders) that have their own criteria for success. A developmental evaluation distilled guiding principles from the network’s shared vision. The principles inform dialogue and programming throughout the network. However, with no central organizing authority, accountability to the principles has been difficult to sustain and there is little incentive to evaluate either adherence to the principles or their effectiveness. The presentation will explore lessons for networks seeking to use PFE.


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Are you facing challenges in designing a joint evaluation or shared monitoring system for a multi-stakeholder initiative? This session is for you. Partnerships between diverse organizations are increasingly important means to address today’s intractable challenges. Joint evaluations and monitoring can inform collective work, but can also be problematic. Principles-driven program implementation and principles-focused evaluation provide program coherence while allowing for organizational and contextual variation among stakeholders. The presenters will describe how principles-focused evaluation can provide actionable data to inform implementation across diverse contexts and steer ongoing program evolution. Two cases illustrate lessons and challenges that arise under different structures of coordination and governance (from a formal institution with more central authority to distributed power exercised in an informal organization). The panel will highlight PFE’s alignment with the Systems in Evaluation principles (including interrelationships, perspectives, boundaries and dynamics).



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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 11, 2019. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 11, 2019 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2019, 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 approved international requests.