#BRACED

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 …

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 …

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 …

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…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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Itad spends week with Realist Evaluation expert Gill Westhorp

This April, Itad spent an informative and enlightening week with Realist Evaluation (RE) expert, Dr Gill Westhorp. Gill is the Director of Community Matters, a consultancy based in south Australia, and having her here, with her extensive RE experience, provided us with an opportunity to learn and improve our practices and programmes.

Included in the week …

Itad at the 2016 UKES Conference

Itad had lots of representatives at this years’ UK Evaluation Society (UKES) Conference, speaking on a range of subjects from measuring resilience in complex contexts to championing change through evaluation.

Dave Wilson and Robbie Gregorowski reflected on the lessons they are learning on our BRACED project, in particular how they have translated …

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 …

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 …

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 …