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60 seconds with…Ekaterina Shaleva

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Ekaterina had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I joined Itad in summer 2018 and am a Research Analyst in the governance theme.

What does that involve?

I provide technical support, including most recently mapping qualitative …

60 seconds with…Joseph Thompson

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Joseph had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a Research Analyst in the Social Protection & Livelihoods theme, working predominantly in the theme’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes.

 What does that …

The Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange: lessons on informal settlement data and partnership building

After a three-day learning exchange focused on city resilience, urban development planning and informal settlement upgrading, what have we learnt about informal settlement data, community knowledge and partnership strengthening?

The Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange took place in Cape Town, from 16–18th July 2018, as part of a collaboration between Slum …

Design for Health: the role of data and evidence

In this blog, Itad’s Senior Consultant, Emma Mulhern, describes her initial impressions of Design for Health, a joint venture by both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact.

In Design for Health, I’m really excited about the opportunities presented by using data and evidence to progress towards an end vision: to …

Mixing, matching and modifying methods in realist evaluation: should we be purists or pragmatists?

At Itad, we see choosing an evaluation approach as an art as much as a science: there’s always a lot to consider. As a result, our evaluation designs are often hybrids, drawing on a range of different approaches in order to tick all the boxes.

In fact, deciding which approach to use means considering the interplay between the evaluation questions, the …

Beyond a burden: what value does verification offer?

Police officers, auditors, teachers marking homework and giving out detentions – just some of the unfavourable analogies we have heard applied to the role of the independent verification team in the WASH Results Programme. In this blog, Catherine Fisher highlights the positive roles missing from these comparisons.

Our job is to verify that the achievements …

Reflections on Itad’s work to promote the equitable participation of people with disabilities in issues that affect them

The UK government has successfully co-hosted its first ever Global Disability Summit to boost efforts to identify and overcome barriers that prevent people with disabilities (PWDs) reaching their full potential. In this blog, Itad’s Abdulkareem Lawal reviews the highlights of Itad’s recent disability-focused projects and distils some key lessons for evaluators to …

The DCED standard for results measurement: four lessons from an audit of Enterprise Partners

In this blog, discover what Monitoring and Results Management (MRM) specialist, Adam Kessler, learnt during his DCED Standard Audit. Here, he distils four important lessons that highlight some of the the benefits of the audit.

I love working as a Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) specialist. Firstly, because it’s intellectually stimulating and you …

Itad’s Impact Strategy Audit of Nesta Impact Investments: What value did it offer for Nesta and the impact investing industry, and what next?

Itad conducted an Impact Strategy Audit of Nesta Impact Investments between October 2017 and January 2018 and we believe this is the first learning-focused Impact Strategy Audit undertaken in the UK.

The assignment was titled an ‘Impact Strategy Audit’, which could imply it was formalised exercise designed to assess Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) …

Capturing learning in Global Health: reflections from Itad’s Global Health Day

On the 19th April, the health theme at Itad welcomed friends and colleagues to an afternoon of exchange on ‘Capturing learning in Global Health’. Around 40 people joined us to think about what learning means for us in our work and what we need to do to help it happen. Here, two health theme members and two of our independent consultants reflect on what the day …

What will Ideas to Impact’s evaluation team know about prizes by 2020?

Ideas to Impact’s evaluators from Itad have been refocusing their prize evaluation plans. In this post, they explain what they hope to be reporting on when the programme draws to a close in 2020.

As you read the posts on this blog, you may spot a recurring theme: stay curious and don’t be afraid to adapt your plans as you learn more about using prizes for …

Truly exceptional? Handling misfortune within Payment by Results

An exceptional event or a predictable adversity? The difference matters more in a Payment by Results (PbR) setting, as this blog post explores.

Conflict, political upheaval, epidemic, drought, flooding and earthquake; the WASH Results Programme has been hit by a wide range of disasters across the 12 countries in which it operates. All these adversities had an …

60 seconds with…Laura Hopkins

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Laura had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a consultant in the Organisational Effectiveness theme. There are four of us on the team, and we work really closely together on all sorts of interesting things.

What does that …

What we learnt at the 2018 UKES conference

Itad had several members of staff involved in this year’s UK Evaluation Society (UKES) conference, which was framed around the evaluation cycle, considering the demand for, supply and use of evidence from evaluations. We asked them to reflect on what they learnt while they were there – keep reading to see what they thought!

RCTs as a gold standard: an idea that …

Realist evaluation: is it worth it? Launching a new series reflecting on five years of realist evaluation practice at Itad

We like a challenge at Itad, and so four or five years ago we threw our hats into the realist evaluation ring. At that time, there was growing interest in the international development sector about the potential of realist approaches to answer tricky questions about how and why our programmes work or don’t work.

We’ve now conducted (or are in the process of …

60 seconds with…Itad’s Impact Investing theme

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick rundown of what our staff do here at Itad. To celebrate their launch, we’re talking to Itad’s new Impact Investing and Innovative Finance theme about what they do…

Why an Impact Investing theme?

Over the past few years, we have seen growing trends in investments in developing countries …

Learning about learning. Wait! What?

I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks thinking about Learning Partnerships, what they are, what they can offer and how we can make them more effective.

In my role as Project Director on the MasterCard Foundation ‘Savings Learning Lab’ (MCFSLL) I get to work first hand on a learning partnership, and was recently with the foundation participating in a …

Measuring the impacts of capacity development: four things to consider

In my first blog on our experiences from the DFID-funded Mobilising for Development (M4D) programme, I looked at the challenges faced in measuring the effects of capacity development. In this latest blog, I look at what we need to consider when assessing the benefits of capacity development efforts.

Capacity development needs to be context-specific and …

Another 60 Seconds with Itad’s health theme

In 2017 Itad’s health theme and its portfolio of monitoring, evaluation and learning projects has continued to grow and expand in really exciting new directions.

Who makes up the health theme?

Ellie Brown, principal consultant, now leads the health portfolio having joined Itad in 2017, following nine years at Options and, before that, eight years as a health …

Global Health 50/50 – where are the men?

I was watching the launch of the Global Health 50/50 Report at UCL recently, and as we had also just celebrated International Women’s Day, a question sprung to mind: and what about the men?

The report, the first of its kind, presents the findings from a comprehensive review of the extent to which gender equality concerns are integrated into the policies and …

Reflections on International Women’s Day 2018

This International Women’s Day, three members of Itad staff reflect on what the day means for them, personally and professionally.

Claire Hughes, Gender theme lead

In my 20 year journey in international development, I have seen many twists and turns, some giving us hope and energy and others not so much. The launch of DFID’s new Strategic Vision for Gender …

Her potential, our future: the launch of DFID’s Strategic Vision for Gender Equality

In my 20 year journey in international development, I have seen many twists and turns, some giving us hope and energy and others not so much.

The launch of DFID’s new Strategic Vision for Gender Equality gives me fresh hope that we are about to start a new phase in our push for gender equality. As international development organisations grapple with the …

How can capacity building improve how policy makers use evidence?

Itad has just finished a three-year realist evaluation of the Building Capacity to Use Research Evidence (BCURE) programme – a £15.7 million, DFID-funded initiative that aimed to build capacity for evidence-informed policy making.

This involved six linked capacity building projects across more than 12 low and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. BCURE …

The interactions between women’s economic empowerment and ending violence against women – Insights from the Pacific Women project

“I am just a woman, I am just a mother, I am just a wife…what can I do to seek justice?”  – anonymous woman in Papua New Guinea.

Itad recently undertook the year 3 evaluation of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (‘Pacific Women’), a 10-year AU$ 320 million programme funded through Australian Aid, working in 14 member countries of the Pacific …

60 seconds with…Ben Harris

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Ben had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a consultant in the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) team – part of Itad’s Social Protection and Livelihoods theme.

What does that involve?

At the moment most of my work …

‘Tis the season to be jolly – Symposium Season

When I worked in Bangladesh in the mid-90s there was always a steady flow of project and programme workshops going on in Dhaka. One individual always turned up; he became known as ‘Mr Workshop’ and we eventually realised he’d just figured out a good way to get a decent lunch several times a week.

At the end of November, I went to four evaluation symposia in …

Stories of Bank Linkages

What are we learning from savings group members on how bank linkages are working for them?

In a recent webinar, CARE shared compelling outcomes of savings groups having access to formal finance such as bank accounts and mobile money services, often referred to as ‘savings group linkages’. To assess the impact of linkage on group savings, businesses, member …

What has the evaluation team discovered so far about the Ideas to Impact prizes?

In this blog post, Ideas to Impact’s evaluators share their findings from the assessment of the first round of prizes and lessons learnt from evaluating them.

While the Evaluation and Learning team’s main focus will be Ideas to Impact’s longer-term prizes or stage 2, we have been looking at what happened with stage 1 and the whole prize …

Are leadership and accountability systems the key to delivering increased gender equality in our work?

We’re about to do a stock take of where we’ve got to in increasing attention to gender issues in our monitoring, evaluation and learning services.

A recent Gender and Development Network learning event on gender mainstreaming was therefore timely. There was a fair amount of despondency amongst the twenty-odd participants from NGO and consultancy organisations …

IDEAS in Mexico: A new chapter for evaluation?

We’ve just published a chapter in a new book, “Evaluation for Agenda 2030: Providing Evidence on Progress and Sustainability.”

Our chapter captures some of the rich discussions held at the Centre for Development Impact (CDI) over the years, as well as a fascinating panel session at the last IDEAS Global Assembly in Bangkok.

While you might not have time to …

Reflections on our experience of DFID’s results agenda

As verifiers of a DFID Results Based Finance programme, ODI’s research on the UK’s results agenda prompted us to reflect on our experience.

In their report ‘The Politics of the Results Agenda in DFID: 1997 to 2017’, Craig Valters and Brendan Whitty argue that 2007 saw a new explicit focus from DFID on aggressively implementing results-based …

Reflections from the IAAH

In October 2017, we attended the International Association for Adolescent Health, 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health in New Delhi, India. We were really excited to contribute to the global dialogue on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, particularly given our work on the Adolescents 360 (A360) programme. Itad, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical …

What evidence is there for the impact of market systems development?

The strength (or weakness) of evidence to support use of the market systems approach is a topic that always provokes heated debate.

As part of Itad’s work with BEAM we recently completed a second annual review of evidence in the BEAM Evidence Map. The Map is a database of around 100 carefully vetted documents that report results achieved by MSD …

How much value do Value Added Models provide for the quality of schools?

The anticipation of the value that Value Added Models (VAM) might bring to developing an accountability measure for school quality has been palpable in the development sector over the past two years. They were a focus for discussion at this year’s 2017 UKFIET Education and Development conference. The technical limitations of VAM were highlighted by the University …

‘Not Everybody is Online’…but All Voices Count

I recently attended the final Making All Voices Count (MAVC) Policy and Practice Dialogue to learn more about tech-focussed citizen engagement and accountable governance as the programme comes to an end and we look to the future.

An impressive line-up of speakers across two days of plenary and breakout sessions discussed issues ranging from citizen’s online …

What do we mean by client empowerment in financial inclusion and how do we do it?

At the 2017 SEEP Annual Conference, I had the pleasure to facilitate a session with colleagues from the Mastercard Foundation Savings Learning Lab. We talked about successful approaches to client empowerment in savings programming, with a focus on the overarching problem of financial exclusion of two vulnerable groups – women and the very poor.

I was joined by …

Issues and challenges of assessing the benefits of capacity development – experiences from the M4D programme in northern Nigeria

It is often argued that good governance is possible only when governing institutions perform to certain standards and that failures are due to declining capacities and capabilities. Capacity development[1] efforts, even when targeted at institutional strengthening, focus on the individuals that make up the institutions with the hope that they will use acquired skills …

Why is it so hard to measure handwashing with soap?

As Global Handwashing Day approaches, the WASH Results MV team explores the challenges of verifying changes in handwashing behaviour.

Hygiene has tended to be the Cinderella of WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene): relegated to the end of the acronym and with hygiene promotion often having been treated as an afterthought in larger water and sanitation …

Shining a light on Violence against Women and Girls programming…the need for evaluation

In September 2017, Sam McPherson and I attended the launch of the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) new, global, multi-year initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls (VAWG) – the Spotlight Initiative – at the UN General Assembly.

As the impressive speakers, ranging from António Guterres, UN Secretary-General to Malala Yousafzai, spoke …

What can we learn from the Government Outcomes Lab?

Learning Advisor Catherine Fisher investigates a new research centre on outcomes-based commissioning and finds plenty of interest for the WASH Results Programme.

You know an idea has traction when the University of Oxford sets up a research centre to investigate it. This is the case for outcomes-based commissioning (aka Payment by Results), which is the focus of …

Innovation prizes and support to solvers – how much, how little?

Here we discuss the challenges of running innovation prizes for development and the questions around additional support to solvers and value for money. 

Several of Ideas to Impact’s prizes have moved into their longer, implementation stages where the demands on solvers are higher and the potential for positive social change is greater. At this critical point in …

Measuring progress towards SDGs: a Payment by Results perspective

Attending the 2017 WEDC Conference prompted WASH MVE team members to share their reflections on measuring progress towards SDGs from a Payment by Results (PBR) perspective.

Some of the e-Pact Monitoring and Verification (MV) team recently attended the WEDC Conference – an annual international event focused on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), organised by …

Measuring Social Norms on WEE Programmes: Lessons from Itad’s Work in Gender Equality

The role of social norms change in economically empowering women was a hot topic at the SEEP Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum earlier this year.

The event was opened by Professor Naila Kabeer, who argued that not taking cultural and social norms into consideration when enhancing women’s economic empowerment (WEE) can undermine the …

What works for social accountability? Findings from DFID’s macro evaluation

I wrote my first blog on DFID’s macro evaluation of its empowerment and accountability project portfolio way back in 2015, at the end of the evaluation’s 11-month inception phase. Some 18 months on, I’m over the moon to finally publish findings from the evaluation which focus specifically on DFID’s support to social accountability initiatives.

The macro …

What role will China play in global health and how will we work together?

China has historically been a recipient of development assistance and funding, but this is changing with the country’s economic development, continuing rise, and with increasing pressures on aid budgets of other donors.

Alongside trade, investment and infrastructure, health is becoming an area to watch. How will China engage, and how should existing donors work …

Three lessons from the 2017 UK Evaluation Society Conference

Itad was well represented at this years’ UK Evaluation Society (UKES) conference; we were involved in four presentations across a range of subjects (though all rooted in this years’ theme of ‘demonstrating and improving the usefulness of evaluation’), and we had several staff members among the general delegates. Here, some of them reflect on the lessons they …

How accountability trumps learning: three lessons from evaluating the Tilitonse programme

At this year’s UK Evaluation Society Conference, we reflected on Itad’s experience working on the independent evaluation for the Tilitonse programme.  Tilitonse, which means ‘we are together’ in Chichewa, is a multi-donor fund to promote civil engagement and support more accountable, responsive and inclusive governance in Malawi.

Along with partners …

The road to impact: how do we ensure that evidence is both useful and used?

At the March 2017 convening of the Resilience Measurement Community of Practice in Uganda, two questions resonated as common challenges across diverse communities. How do we use evidence to influence? How can we broker a dialogue with new audiences and create spaces where we can learn from each other?  The discussions centred on both reaching wider audiences to …

The irony of evaluation – thoughts from the annual UKES conference

My initial reaction to my first UKES conference was that it all seemed slightly ironic that a group of dedicated evaluation professionals gathered for two days to discuss how the products they spend most of their professional life toiling away over are not always as useful as they could be. Sighs of self-pity aside, this is, unfortunately, the case in many instances. …

Pushing the boundaries: considering new ways of utilising evaluations

This year’s UKES conference explored the current uses of evaluation. The role of evaluators in delivering learning products and enabling evaluation uptake featured in many conversations, as well as new ways of working with clients to improve their business & management strategies. My takeaways focus on the latter: evaluation reports aside, in what other ways …

Itad’s 4 top takeaways from the SEEP Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum

Did you know that there are more CEOs in Australia called John than there are CEOs that are women? And that in 95% of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa there is at least one law impeding women’s economic opportunities? These laws include everything from restrictions on married women opening bank accounts, to signing contracts and travelling outside the home.

There …

Increasing the use of evaluation results: three tensions to navigate

As pressure to demonstrate Value for Money and results in international development increases in the current political climate, funding and implementing organisations alike are commissioning a growing number of evaluations. But how many expensive and well-intentioned evaluation reports end up gathering dust on a shelf?

Unfortunately, basing an evaluation on sound …

60 seconds with…Richard Burge

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Richard had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

Associate Director – Governance Cluster Lead. I joined in early January 2017.

What does that involve?

It is a leadership position within the company and I work alongside three …

Evaluations – are they of any use? Reflections before and after the UKES conference

I’m looking forward to attending the UK Evaluation Society’s annual conference this year. Its focus on the usefulness of evaluations appears to be more topical than ever.

In a political climate dominated by stories of ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’ and ‘not trusting experts’, the conference presents an opportunity to show how good quality evidence …

Too complex to measure? Exploring the dynamic processes of resilience and recovery

Resilience measurement is complex. Yet measuring resilience helps to build crucial evidence about how and why resilience is being strengthened, for whom, and in which contexts. This builds our knowledge to inform, tailor and improve development interventions to support processes that lead to better resilience outcomes.

Different understandings of what makes …

Six things that help grant-makers learn and adapt

There’s an emerging body of literature identifying key strategies that can both improve learning and enable adaptive management amongst grant-makers. We recently reviewed a host of publications from eight grant-making organisations. Those organisations have diverse aims and approaches but we’ve identified six common themes that stand out:

Strong leadership and …

Causality and attribution in market systems development

A new paper aims to shed light on the current theoretical/academic and practitioner understanding of attribution and causality.

Attribution is the establishment of a causal link between (parts of) an observed change and a specific intervention. It is something that we all have to measure as part of monitoring and results measurement (MRM) and evaluation activities …

Thoughts from the International Association for Impact Assessment conference

I attended and presented at the International Association for Impact Assessment conference last week in Montréal, where this year’s theme was “Impact Assessment’s Contribution to the Global Efforts in Addressing Climate Change”.

Most participants focused on environmental impact assessment (EIA) around extractive industries and infrastructure and, as a …

Expect the unexpected: unanticipated consequences and development programming

You’ll be familiar with the basic logic of development programmes: there’s a serious problem to address; we have designed a solution, we can implement it, and the situation will improve in the following ways…

Naturally, we tend to be more certain about what we will do, but a good programme will think hard about the immediate benefits and how it can best …

60 Seconds with…Itad’s Gender and Empowerment theme

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. To celebrate their launch, we’re talking to Itad’s new Gender and Empowerment theme about what they do…

Who makes up the Gender and Empowerment theme?

We’re Itad’s smallest (and newest!) theme, so a very select group.  Claire Hughes, one of …

Evaluation is crucial to reaching the FP2020 goals

With the announcement this week that the UK will be holding the Family Planning Summit later this year, the Health Theme in Itad has been thinking about what evaluation means to them in the family planning arena.

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH), particularly family planning, is very close to our hearts. As highlighted in our 60-second interview, before we …

60 Seconds with…Mollie Liesner

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Mollie had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a consultant in the Private Sector Development theme. I also do some work in the Impact Investing theme and work on women’s economic empowerment for the Gender theme.

What does …

Itad and cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is fast becoming a focal point for companies that deal with personal data, employee information and emails.

Itad has recently achieved both the Cyber Essentials and the IASME Governance security certifications. This demonstrates we have attained a government accepted standard when it comes to governance and risk management of cybersecurity. This is …

60 Seconds with…Daria Kisiel

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Daria had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a Business Development Officer.

What does that involve?

I am involved in preparing proposals and conducting market intelligence. I am also working on improving processes and …

How and when should evaluation be brought into innovation prizes

Previously we shared our thoughts on why prizes for development are interesting for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practitioners and how evaluating them can bring new challenges during evaluation.

In this post, we look at why evaluators may need to adjust their usual approach to working when evaluating prizes for development.

What’s different about the …

Adaptive social protection: linking theory to reality on the ground

In their recent Working Paper[1] on Shock responsive Social protection, Oxford Policy Management (OPM) suggest that Social Protection (SP) is often seen as “intrinsically intended to be shock-responsive in the sense that it should support people in the event of a shock or help to mitigate their susceptibility to shocks”.

The OPM paper also points out that this …

Can we learn from system level social protection interventions?

Influencing change at the system level is often very difficult to do, requiring different inputs in different contexts. It is also very difficult to evaluate, as the effects of interventions that seek to make changes at system and policy levels are difficult to disentangle from changes that occur outside the intervention.

An attempt at providing an answer to this …

60 Seconds with…Rachel Eager

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Rachel had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a senior consultant in technical excellence.

What does that involve?

I am member of the Itad Knowledge Hub team, supporting knowledge management, learning, and sharing of …

Learning from Financial Diaries

I was recently invited to a workshop on Financial Diaries (FDs), involving financial inclusion (FI) practitioners and experts in the field of FI research and programming. The workshop marked an important juncture for the field to come together to reflect and discuss the FD value proposition, and offered an opportunity to consider ideas for how FDs can be used in the …

60 Seconds with…Stefanie Wallach

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Stefanie had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

Principal Consultant, leading the Organisational Effectiveness theme.

What does that involve?

A range of work, including being directly involved in conducting evaluations, …

60 Seconds with…Marc Theuss

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Marc had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a Senior Consultant in the Health Theme.

What does that involve?

I am involved in managing several large evaluations, and am responsible for the design and management of the …

Let’s get practical: how to overcome monitoring challenges

Contribute to learning and innovation in the wider market systems community by sharing your practical stories on measuring market system changes.

How are we going to get better at monitoring and results measurement (MRM) on market systems development (MSD) programmes?

One thing is for sure, a lot of people in the market systems development community are trying …

Five lessons from the ODI Parliamentary Reception on Women’s Economic Empowerment

There is a possibility that by the end of 2016, three of the world’s largest economies (USA, UK, and Germany) will have a woman as their head of state. This may be an indicator of changing times, but the evidence is that women all over the world are still struggling just to access basic economic opportunities.

On the 26th October, ODI and Rachel Reeves MP hosted …

Webinar on measuring VfM in BER Programmes

In September 2016, we convened our first webinar for the Business Environment Reform Facility (BERF) to share lessons learnt on measuring Value for Money (VfM) in Business Environment Reform (BER) Programmes. It was the first of a series of multi-country knowledge sharing events organised by Itad for DFID and other organisations engaged in BER.

We presented …

60 Seconds with…Itad’s Health Theme

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. In an exciting new format, we’re talking to the entire Health Theme about what they do…

Who makes up the health theme?

The Health Theme is made up of five people, bringing together a complementary mix of experience and skills covering cutting edge …

Evidence and evaluation: What’s the Use?

As evaluators, we worry that all our hard work sometimes goes no further than the ‘Evaluation Report Shelf’.

At the recent European Evaluation Society 2016 conference, I presented some of the findings of the evaluation I lead of DFID’s Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme (HIEP), which has a focus on use of evidence, and I reflected on the use of …

What I learned at the CARES realist evaluation conference

A couple of weeks ago I attended the CARES realist evaluation conference at the Barbican Centre in London. It was a brilliant few days of reflection and debate about all things realist, and a great chance to discuss Itad’s first realist evaluation (of the Building Capacity to Use Evidence programme, or BCURE) with the wider community.  Here’s some of what I …

Itad at EES: Five takeaways from inside the QCA bubble

At this year’s European Evaluation Society (EES) conference, I found myself almost exclusively attending sessions related to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).

Two years ago, QCA was still the newbie at EES, but with seven sessions this year, the approach has taken a prominent role in European evaluation discourse and practice. Exciting applications and …

Demonstrating VfM within an M4P programme

Over the last 12 months, Itad has been developing a Value for Money (VfM) system for the Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia (PEPE), a private sector development programme designed according to the Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) methodology. Demonstrating VfM in an M4P programme poses particular conceptual and practical challenges as this blog briefly …

60 Seconds with…Ethel Sibanda

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Ethel had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a Principal Consultant in the Social Protection and Livelihoods (SP&L) theme.

What does that involve?

My role is quite diverse. For example, I’m working on growing the …

The role of capacity assessment in ensuring contextually appropriate capacity support

Towards the end of last year, Itad’s Organisational Effectiveness theme conducted an evaluation of Norway’s support to public sector capacity development.

This is the last blog of a three part series exploring findings from the study.  The first looked at the factors that explain Norway’s success in supporting capacity development, the second focused on …

Dismantling patriarchy in Nigeria

At Itad, we work on different programmes that aim to support gender equality in Nigeria. Getting a deeper understanding of the changes that people are experiencing, the context in which these changes are happening, and the contributions different programmes are making, is key.

That’s what made me curious about ‘#HowToFixNigeria: Dismantling Patriarchy’, a …

60 Seconds with…Benjamin Stephens

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Ben had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

Project Administrator

What does that involve?

Being a Project Administrator involves producing contracts, processing finances and responding to inquiries.  It also involves a number …

Assessing the value of evaluations

What’s an appropriate amount of money to spend on an evaluation?  It’s a difficult question to answer. It’s difficult because it depends.

It depends on how big the programme is that you want to evaluate. It depends on the magnitude of the decision the evaluation is contributing to.  It depends on whether the evaluation might generate benefits beyond the …

Why innovation prizes for development are interesting to evaluate

Itad is working in collaboration with IMC on Ideas to Impact, a DFID-funded programme supporting research and development in climate technologies for developing countries. Itad is leading the design and implementation of Ideas to Impact’s monitoring & evaluation. In this blog, the team share what they’ve found different about monitoring and evaluating …

Norwegian Aid and Adaptive Programming

Towards the end of last year Itad’s Organisational Effectiveness theme conducted an evaluation of Norway’s support to public sector capacity development.

This is the second of three blogs, which explore the findings from the study.  The first looked at the factors that explain Norway’s success in supporting capacity development, this one focuses on how well …

Evaluation of Norway’s support to Capacity Development

Towards the end of last year Itad’s Organisational Effectiveness theme conducted an evaluation of Norway’s support to public sector capacity development.  This is the first of three blogs, which explore the findings from the study.

This first blog looks at the factors that explain Norway’s success in supporting capacity development. The second blog focuses …

60 Seconds with…Alex Cornelius

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Alex had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a consultant working under the Livelihoods and Social Protection theme.

What does that involve?

Quite a lot of things, and it can vary! I’m working on a number of projects …

Measuring social norm change: where do we go from here?

In June 2016, I had the pleasure of joining a select group of social norm measurement aficionados, including researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, John Hopkins University, the University of California, San Diego and practitioners from Care USA, Promundo, and Tostan.

Our aim was to share our respective experiences of measuring social …

Itad’s Gender Snapshot Review: charting the way forward for mainstreaming gender within our work and operations

In September last year, Itad joined the HeforShe global campaign for gender equality.  We took this decision with the intention of strengthening our gender focus, both in our monitoring and evaluation work, and in our internal operations.  Since then, we have certainly not been idle!

To map out a way forward, we decided to review how gender currently features in …

Moving targets and going in circles

My procrastination has paid off. I have been meaning to write a short blog about one of the final knowledge pieces to come out of the SAVI programme (for more information have a look at SAVI’s website) in Nigeria, now that the programme has finished.

I was aiming to blog about a paper we have published, reflecting on what we have learnt about doing M&E in a …

Evaluating complex change across projects and contexts: Methodological lessons from a macro evaluation of DFID’s social accountability portfolio

This blog is part of a series of blogs aimed at sharing our experiences with DFID’s macro evaluations. Background information about the macro evaluations as well as details on the methodology applied can be found here.
In April 2016, we presented methodological lessons from our macro evaluation of DFID’s Empowerment and Accountability policy frame at the UK …

60 Seconds with…Rachel Norman

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Rachel had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am Senior Consultant, providing maternity cover. As part of this role, I am the Deputy Programme Manager for the DFID WASH Results Programme and the Lead Evaluator for the Sanitation …

Six Lessons from the 2016 UK Evaluation Society Conference

Itad was well represented at this years’ UK Evaluation Society (UKES) conference; we were involved in five presentations across a range of subjects (though all rooted in this years’ theme of ‘complexity’), and we had several staff members among the general delegates. Here, some of them reflect on the lessons they took away from the …

Itad’s Realist Evaluation week – Three Lessons from the BRACED session

One of the evaluation questions Itad is seeking to answer for DFID’s BRACED programme is: how and why have different ‘packages’ of activities strengthened resilience in particular contexts?

The evaluation team are applying a Realist Evaluation (RE) approach to answer this question, but are challenged by the fact that they are not responsible for the data …

The Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) evaluation: Another piece of evidence supporting the value of multi-stakeholder approaches

Itad, in cooperation with Pamoja, recently completed an evaluation of the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA).

MeTA was a DFID-funded initiative, coordinated by Health Action International (HAI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and implemented in seven pilot countries (Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, the Philippines, Uganda and Zambia) from 2008. The …

60 Seconds with…Ed Hedley

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Ed had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

Consultant in the PSD theme

What does that involve?

Designing monitoring frameworks for private sector development-focused programmes and conducting programme evaluations

How did …

BEAM citizens, bring out your evidence!

As many of you may have seen on the BEAM Exchange webpage, newsletter, and LinkedIn, BEAM is appealing to you, the BEAM community, for your evidence on market systems development projects. We want you to know the reasons why this search for evidence is so important:

We want to build on our existing learning culture

You only have to look at the healthy …

60 Seconds with…Tara Stearn

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Tara had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

Systems and Facilities Coordinator

What does that involve?

The coordination and day to day management of Itad’s Office Facilities. (We are currently spread over 4 office …

60 Seconds with…Emmeline Willcocks

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Emmeline had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am Itad’s Communications Officer.

What does that involve?

I lead on our internal and external communications – this ranges from scheduling and coordinating our marketing …