The Soul Beat 204 – Monitoring and Evaluation Methodologies and Tools – August 22 2012

The latest issue of The Soul Beat offers a selection of content from the Soul Beat Africa website that focuses on monitoring and evaluating development and communication projects. The selection covers a range of different evaluation strategies and methodologies, as well as tools and guidelines, that can be applied generally to development and communication projects or to specific projects that deal with health, HIV/AIDS, policy work, advocacy, and media development. We hope that you will find these useful to your work.

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The Soul Beat 204 – Monitoring and Evaluation Methodologies and Tools

>From SOUL BEAT AFRICA – where communication and media are central to AFRICA’s social and economic development

In this issue of The Soul Beat:

* Outcome Mapping and evaluating C4D initiatives…
* Project Evaluations on the Soul Beat Africa website…
* Tools and guides on the Most Significant Change Technique and for measuring success in health projects…

To view this edition online go to:



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1. Researching, Monitoring and Evaluating Communication for Development: Trends, Challenges and Approaches (2011) By June Lennie and Jo Tacchi
Prepared for the United Nations Inter-agency Group on Communication for Development as part of the United Nations Inter-agency Resource Pack on Research, Monitoring and Evaluation in Communication for Development, this report highlights a number of trends, challenges, and approaches associated with researching, monitoring, and evaluating communication for development (C4D) within the United Nations (UN) context. It has a particular focus on impact assessment, in light of an observed need to increase the number and quality of impact assessments of C4D programmes.

2. Discussion Paper on the Monitoring and Evaluation of UN-Assisted Communication for Development Programmes: Recommendations for Best Practice Methodologies and Indicators (2009) By Andrew Puddephatt, Rebecca Horsewell, and Georgina Menheneott
This paper from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank was prepared in advance of the 11th UN Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development in March 2009. It was designed to serve as a discussion paper for the first theme of the roundtable: “Assessing and Demonstrating the Impact of Communication for Development”. This paper was designed to help roundtable participants explore key C4D issues, consider case studies, and identify best practice methodology, in order to glean key questions and indicators, some of which are proposed at the end of this paper.

3. Measuring Change: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in Media and Development Cooperations (2007) Edited by A. Sofie Jannusch
This document summarises the proceedings of the symposium Measuring Change: Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation in Media Development which focused on the utilisation aspect of evaluation in media development, including an emphasis on learning from monitoring and evaluation (M&E) experiences, to facilitate the improvement of existing projects and programmes at all levels, from planning to implementation and follow-up.

4. Outcome Mapping: a Realistic Alternative for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (2009) By Harry Jones and Simon Hearn
As stated in this document, Outcome Mapping (OM) is an approach to planning, monitoring, and evaluating social change initiatives developed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada. At a practical level, OM is a set of tools and guidelines that steer project or programme teams through an iterative process to identify their desired change and to work collaboratively to bring it about. Results are measured by the changes in behaviour, actions and relationships of those individuals, groups or organisations with whom the initiative is working directly and seeking to influence.

5. Making Outcome Mapping Work: Innovations in Participatory Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (2009) Edited by Simon Hearn, Heidi Schaeffer, and Jan Van Ongevalle
The Outcome Mapping Learning Community is an informal group of over a thousand members from around the world. It acts largely as a dynamic platform for sharing knowledge and experiences relating to OM. Members come together to solve problems, to showcase and trade their discoveries and good practices, and to support one another in applying Outcome Mapping. In order to capture, record, and disseminate the knowledge shared through the community, a practice of summarising and synthesising discussions has emerged. This book is a product of that practice and is designed to be a reference and a summary of how OM is evolving and being adapted and applied around the world.

6. Evaluating Social Change and Communication For Social Change: New Perspectives (2008) By Ailish Byrne
This essay from 2008 explores strategies for assessing and demonstrating the impact of social change and communication for social change processes. Using the meeting of HIV/AIDS Implementers in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2008 as a launching point, Ailish Byrne lays out the challenges and diverse factors impacting monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the field of social change communication (SCC). She raises questions regarding many current M&E practices and their implications for development.

7. Program Improvement Through Use of Process Evaluations: Sharing Experiences from the Capable Partners Project (CAP) in Botswana: Capacity Building Series (2011)
>From Capable Partners (CAP) and FHI 360, this publication is part of a Capacity Building Series documenting the experiences of the CAP Botswana project in organisational development, and building the technical capacity of local civil society organisations in HIV Prevention. The purpose of the programme is to strengthen community-based responses to HIV prevention implemented by civil society organisations (CSOs), and to help the organisations develop into strong and effective partners in the national HIV and AIDS response. This publication describes the CAP project annual process evaluation methodology, outlines the implementation processes, details the major activities and tools used, and shares key results. The process, findings, tools, and results are described as relevant to other organisations involved in capacity building or implementing community-based programmes in Botswana and beyond.

8. Tracking Progress in Advocacy: Why and How to Monitor and Evaluate Advocacy Projects and Programmes (2009) By Maureen OFlynn
This paper introduces the scope of, and rational for, engaging in advocacy work as part of development interventions. It then focuses on the issue of monitoring and evaluating these efforts – offering reasons why and when these processes should be planned and implemented, what’s involved, and who should be engaged in the process. It concludes by looking at some of the particular challenges and opportunities that the monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work presents.



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9. Impact Evaluation Toolkit: Measuring the Impact of Results-Based Financing on Maternal and Child Health (2012) By Christel Vermeersch, Elisa Rothenbühler, and Jennifer Sturdy
This toolkit offers a step-by-step guide on how to evaluate the impact of interventions, especially those related to maternal and child health and those involving results-based financing (RBF). According to its developer, the World Bank Human Development Network, the guide can also be easily adapted for impact evaluation (IE) in other fields.

10. Measuring Success Toolkit: Using Data for Health Program Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (2012)
This capacity-building toolkit provides guidance on how to use data to plan a health programme and to measure its success through monitoring and evaluation. Basic introductions are provided throughout the toolkit, as well as a glossary of planning and M&E terms. Through a simple step-by-step approach, the toolkit explains the fundamental differences between monitoring and evaluation and gives a useful perspective on the types of questions that M&E can answer.

11. Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results (2009) By Asoka Kasturiarachchi, Thomas Eriksson, Stephen Rodriques, and Azusa Kubota
This handbook seeks to address planning, monitoring, and evaluation in the context of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its evaluation policy. These documents provide the prescriptive content on what needs to be done, by whom, and by when. This handbook complements this content by providing UNDP programme units with guidance on ‘how to’ and practical tools to strengthen results-oriented planning, monitoring, and evaluation in UNDP.

12. Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices (2010) By Shahidur R. Khandker, Gayatri B. Koolwal, and Hussain A. Samad
This book reviews quantitative methods and models of impact evaluation, presenting an analysis of the quantitative research underlying recent programme evaluations and case studies prepared for a series of impact evaluation workshops in different countries, sponsored by the World Bank Institute (WBI). The handbook also details challenges and goals in other realms of evaluation, including monitoring and evaluation, operational evaluation, and mixed-methods approaches combining quantitative and qualitative analyses. It is designed to put theory on evaluation methods and practices into practice in a hands-on fashion for practitioners, especially researchers new to the evaluation field and policymakers involved in implementing development programmes worldwide.



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13. The Most Significant Change Technique: A Guide to Its Use (2005) By Rick Davies and Jess Dart
This publication is intended for organisations, community groups, students, and academics who wish to use the Most Significan Change Technique (MSC) to help monitor and evaluate their social change programmes and projects or to learn more about how it can be used. As stated in the guide: “The most significant change (MSC) technique is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is participatory because many project stakeholders are involved both in deciding the sorts of change to be recorded and in analysing the data. It is a form of monitoring because it occurs throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage the program. It contributes to evaluation because it provides data on impact and outcomes that can be used to help assess the performance of the program as a whole.”

14. A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Policy Influence (2011) By Harry Jones
This Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Background Notes paper from the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) Programme gives an overview of approaches to monitoring and evaluating policy influence and is intended as a guide, outlining challenges and approaches and suggested further reading.

15. Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating National HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) Programmes (2011)
>From the World Health Organization (WHO) and various partners, this field guide describes a set of indicators that can be used by national AIDS programmes to monitor and evaluate their HIV testing and counselling (HTC) services. These services include: provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC); walk-in HTC services, often referred to as client-initiated HIV testing and counselling (CITC) or as voluntary counselling and testing (VCT); and/or HTC services offered at mobile sites, at the workplace, in temporary sites, in the home, as part of “Know Your HIV Status” campaigns.

16. Pathfinder: A Practical Guide to Advocacy Evaluation (2009)
This guide from Innovation Network is intended as an introduction to advocacy evaluation. It is written to give a sense of what is involved in the process and how this kind of evaluation differs from programme evaluations. The guide defines advocacy as “a wide range of activities conducted to influence decision makers at various levels.” The approach is learning-focused advocacy evaluation, which is structured to result in an evaluation design that yields the type of information funders and advocates need to understand their progress, make mid-course correction, and ultimately conduct successful advocacy and policy change projects.



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