Innovations with Evaluation Methods

Lessons from a Community of Practice in International Development

This research report is a collection of stories of innovation in planning and evaluation from members of Bridging Gaps, a community of practice of ten Civil Society Organizations who came together to;

  • Develop learning systems that balance and integrate collaborative planning, evaluation and inquiry; and
  • Document the CoP’s innovation in learning systems research so as to facilitate dialogue with broader networks and donors on ways to combine learning with accountability.

The stories shared in the publication address key evaluation tasks in organizations, and speak to systematic reviews of current monitoring and evaluation systems. The CoP a group of 10 Civil Society Organisations – Canada World Youth, CECI, CESO-SACO, Crossroads International, CUSO International, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Québec, SUCO, USC Canada, and WUSC – working at the international level were looking for ways to bridge gaps and address problems in their planning, monitoring and evaluation systems. The challenge is to learn about and improve the effectiveness of development programming, and satisfy the demands of widely-used accountability frameworks such as Results-Based Management (RBM). Bridging Gap was funded by the International Development Research Centre and coordinated by Canada World Youth.

The process was supported by two consultants, Professor Daniel Buckles and Professor Jacques Chevalier, who provided training and coaching in M&E design and facilitation. The collaboration involved meetings every two or three months for three years to assess needs, learn new methods, and share experiences and results of applications to planning, monitoring and evaluation activities within their organizations and with their partners in developing countries.

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