Blog

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 …

60 Seconds with…Esther Saville

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

What’s your job here at Itad? 

I recently joined Itad to take up a new position as Head of Knowledge Management, to support Itad to deliver technical excellence across its portfolio.

What does that involve?

I …

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 …

Strengthening the enabling environment for young women’s empowerment in Nigeria: unpacking Voices for Change vision of change

On International Women’s Day, Claire Hughes, who leads Itad’s work on gender, reflects on the Voices for Change pathway to empowering young women in Nigeria.

Last week I had the privilege of working with the Voices for Change project team on their theory of change.  Itad is a core partner on this innovative 5 year DFID supported programme, which aims to …

60 Seconds with…Grace Elliott

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am the Administration Assistant

What does that involve?

I have a varied and diverse role at Itad, helping to provide support across all teams and areas of the company. I provide …

AIDS, TB and Malaria: What difference is the Global Fund making?

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria is one of the most important financers of AIDS, TB and malaria in the world, in many countries it is the major source of finances for prevention, treatment and care of these three diseases.  So asking what difference it is making is highly relevant to larger discussions around global health and development.

In 2015 …

Aligning methods to inspire and monitor change

Saturday 6th February marked International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, sparking much discussion amongst the international development community on how more work is desperately needed to combat this harmful practice, which UNICEF estimate has now directly affected over 200 million women and girls across the world.

Despite having been illegal for many years in a …

Gender Equality: what’s in it for men?

When we talk about gender equality, aren’t we talking about women’s participation and empowerment? So why work with men? Involving men and boys in programmes on gender equality is something that has been overlooked for many years, but there is increasing evidence that in order to address gender inequality effectively, men have to become part of the debate and …

Flexible and Adaptive…How Original

The title of this post relates to how adaptive programming was presented at a recent donor meeting, the aim being to profile a soon-to-be tendered new programme. And it’s right. In a short space of time, these words (flexible and adaptive) have become included in nearly all new calls for proposals, as well as being a hot topic of discussion in development circles …

The ‘almost revolution’ of thinking and working politically

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of stimulating hours with colleagues at ODI discussing where we have got to with the “almost revolution” of thinking and working politically, and where we need to go from here.  The discussion with policy-makers (DFID), practitioners and researchers was held to reflect on the experience presented in David Booth …

Better understanding and measuring resilience

The concept of ‘resilience’ has gained a lot of attention in the development sector recently, attention which has translated into large scale investment in resilience building programmes and partnerships (See DFID BRACED, Global Resilience Partnership, USAID). There has been much lively debate about how best to conceptualise resilience in the context of …

How to evaluate if a programme really makes markets work for the poor – 10 Key points

Lots has been written about what can be achieved using a market systems or M4P approach, and similarly there also appears to be a consensus among practitioners that the approach can yield important benefits for poor people. However, robust evaluation evidence that actually demonstrates impact is thinner on the ground.

There are relatively few examples of rigorous …

Can ICTs help citizens to raise concerns over water supply? – Findings from a research project under the making all voices count initiative

The latest World Development Report focuses on Digital Dividends. This is a timely topic in the water sector, where information and communication technologies (ICTs) are seen to have a great potential to help improve the reliability and sustainability of water supply services. But have past ICT initiatives in the sector walked the walk? Our findings, published in the …

A Ridiculously Short Introduction to Monitoring & Evaluation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Market Systems Development*

So you want to measure and/or evaluate a programme with Women’s Economic Empowerment? The programme is using a market systems approach? Don’t know where to start? I was equally curious. Luckily, a number of very smart and experienced people have written and spoken on the subject. Below are some of the key points that stuck with me while I’ve been reading up on this …

Can football tackle violence against women and girls? Six findings from our baseline study in Kenya.

Itad is working with the British Council and the Premier League on an innovative project, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, which aims to tackle violence against women and girls through football.

The three-year programme is working to change inequitable attitudes towards girls and women among communities in Western Kenya. It is doing …

60 Seconds with…Barbora Sladkova

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m a Business Development Administrator.

What does that involve?

Business development is mainly about bidding for tenders – coordinating proposals, analysing terms of reference, …

What has DFID funded in the area of Empowerment and Accountability and Gender equality?

The answer is not as straightforward as you may think. We had to figure it out whilst working on two evaluations for DFID, one of its gender policy – the Strategic Vision for Girls and Women, and the other of its Empowerment and Accountability policy. We needed to understand how these policies are reflected in DFID projects, and we also wanted to put the …

Getting to grips with the DFID Macro Evaluations

We were absolutely elated when, in February 2014, DFID awarded Itad, on behalf of the ePact consortium, the contract to conduct macro evaluations of their gender policy – the Strategic Vision for Girls and Women – and their Empowerment and Accountability policy.
Our initial reaction
Both macro evaluations are high profile, challenging pieces of work, but for …

Five things I learned from the Leeds Realist Evaluation Conference (including why The Wire really is the best television show ever)

On November 4th and 5th I attended the conference ‘State of the Art Realist Methodologies’ in Leeds, hosted by the University of Leeds. Here are some of the highlights for me.

*Disclaimer: This post dives straight into Realist Evaluation concepts – my apologies to the uninitiated.

1. I learned that we are not alone in our struggle to explain Realist …

The Rigour Arguments in Impact Evaluations

Abdulkareem Lawal, Principal Consultant, shares his reflections from attending an Impact Evaluation course at the Institute of Development Studies in April 2015.

As a Doctoral student some 10 years ago, I struggled with my Professors on what constituted rigour when I was preparing for my dissertation field work. My research looked at the social and economic …

60 Seconds with…Giada Tu Thanh

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a consultant working mainly for the health theme.

What does that involve?

Together with other internal and external consultants, I conduct evaluations of health-related …

Reflections on an Expert Roundtable on Results-Based Payments

This week, Itad organised and hosted an Expert Roundtable as part of its ongoing assignment for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) looking at results-based payments in the area of governance.

Participants represented the Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), …

Is core funding really all it’s cracked up to be?

Core[i] funding: NGOs prize it highly and very few donors provide it without a lot of strings attached.

In 2014 Itad was asked to deliver an evaluation of PSI’s Mozambique country platform, which has a unique relationship with its main institutional funder, the Dutch Foreign Ministry.  This unusual relationship resulted in PSI Mozambique getting core funding …

60 Seconds with…Jessica Rust-Smith

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a Consultant in the Private Sector Development & Wealth Creation theme. I have been a staff member at Itad since June 2014.

What does that involve?

I work on a variety of …

60 Seconds with…Jon Cooper

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

What’s your job here at Itad? 

I am an Associate Director, and I am responsible for the Human and Social Development Cluster of our evaluation themes, comprising Health, Social Protection & Livelihoods, and …

Accountability and protection: two sides of the same coin – Lessons from DFID’s accountability programming in the Philippines

This blog is written by Mary Ann Brocklesby and Katie Tong, who were team members on the recent Itad evaluation of DFID’s humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. 

Accountability to affected populations (AAP) is one of three relatively newly emerging and interlinked cross-cutting areas of humanitarian work, together with Communicating with …

Climate: What’s Changed, What Hasn’t, What we can do about it

Some reflections from a monitoring and evaluation perspective on the lecture delivered by the OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, chaired by Lord Stern.

With precious few official negotiating days left in the remaining six months ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, the title of the lecture delivered by the OECD Secretary General Angel …

Reflections on a Seminar on Intervention Logic and Contribution Analysis at the EC

A few weeks ago, I attended a seminar on intervention logic and contribution analysis, organised by EuropeAid and delivered by Steve Montague. A lot of the seminar was based on Funnell and Roger’s Purposeful Program Theory, but it was nevertheless a useful refresher and generated some reflections on divisions in evaluation markets and how to better visualise …

60 Seconds with…Robbie Gregorowski

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I lead the Climate Change theme at Itad, and I have recently been appointed as an Associate Director – I first joined Itad in 2009.

What does that involve?

I manage and lead …

60 Seconds with…Rob Lloyd

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I’m one of the Associate Directors and I lead the companies’ work on Organisational Effectiveness.

What does that involve?

It involves winning work, managing work, and then trying …

Evaluating and Verifying Payment by Results Programmes

Highlights of the discussion about verification and evaluation of Payment By Results in our chat show at the UK Evaluation Society Conference.

A session at the UK Evaluation Society conference in May 2015 compared two Payment by Results (PbR) programmes in different sectors. The discussion revealed that although PbR programmes can be set up in very different …

Learning from HIEP on Evaluation Methodology

As team leader of the evaluation of DFID’s Humanitarian Innovation and Evaluation Programme (HIEP) I am learning a lot about leading a theory-based evaluation of a complex programme over five years!

HIEP is a UK£48 million programme made up of 16 projects carried out with partners from the academic, humanitarian and policy arenas around the world. It aims to …

Improving Evidence Use in Government Decision-Making

Some thoughts from a case study in fragile/conflict-affected environments.

I recently attended the second annual roundtable meeting of the Africa Cabinet Government Network (ACGN) in Accra. The Network brings together Cabinet Secretaries and secretariat staff across twelve African governments to share knowledge, experiences and lessons in using evidence in Cabinet …

Process Tracing in Impact Evaluation: Potentials and Pitfalls

This year, the United Kingdom Evaluation Society Conference looked at influencing impact through innovation and inclusion. The need to experiment with new methods and approaches is particularly pertinent for the evaluation of advocacy and policy change initiatives. For example, if we want to find out whether and how a particular campaign has contributed to a …

60 Seconds with…Vishal Gadhavi

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

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am a consultant in the social protection and rural livelihoods thematic area.

What does that involve?

Working on projects providing technical guidance and support. This can …

Introducing DFID WASH Results

By 2015 the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation will be halved (according to Millennium Development Goal 7c.) Yet, millions of people worldwide still lack access to improved water supply and the sanitation target is severely off track.

The DFID WASH Results Programme aims to support poor people to …

Public launch of Final Evaluation Report on EU Support to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Partner Countries

Itad is proud to see the Final Evaluation Report of the EU’s Support to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Partner Countries publicly launched.

Itad conducted this evaluation on behalf of the European Commission from July 2013-April 2015, working in partnership with COWI Belgium.   You can find the final evaluation report here.  …

60 Seconds with…Dane Rogers

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

What’s your job at Itad

Non-Executive Director (a role I share with Julian Barr)

What does that involve?

Providing strategic guidance and support to our Senior Management Team; strengthening our governance …

Improving the Practice of Value for Money Assessment

The Centre for Development Impact (CDI) – our joint evaluation innovation centre with IDS and UEA, has just published a Practice Paper on Value for Money (VFM) by Angela Christie and me.

This presents Itad views developed over the last couple of years, working on a range of VFM assignments, and builds on the methodological paper we produced recently. We also …

Monitoring and Evaluating Flexible and Adaptive Programming

A couple of weeks ago I was at DFID, representing DFID Nigeria to present lessons from the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) project we are doing with GRM. The event was an internal learning event on Monitoring and Evaluating Flexible and Adaptive Programming.

SAVI has been involved in wider debates on adaptive programming (there was an earlier …

Making Results Systems Work Part 3 – What Drives Evaluation Quality?

While the last two posts in the ‘making results systems work’ series have been looking at result system in a broad sense, today we’ll focus specifically on evaluation.

In the special edition of the Journal of Development Effectiveness we contributed an article on how Norad’s Evaluation Department manages evaluations and whether they do this in a way …