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Theme updates – Winter 2017

It's been a busy 2017 across the company. Here, each of our technical themes gives us a quick insight into what their highlights have been.


BRACED team publish two new papers

The members of the Climate Change theme working on BRACED have spent the last 6 months analysing and synthesising qualitative evidence from year 2 of the programme. The findings have been published in two flagship reports, ‘Routes to resilience: insights from BRACED year 2’ and ‘Routes to resilience: lessons from monitoring BRACED year 2’ which shed new light onto how resilience is being built and for whom, moving us forward in our understanding of resilience, as well as informing M&E design for resilience programmes.

Education theme wins major evaluation of the Global Partnership for Education

The Education theme was strengthened in 2017 with the appointment of a new Theme Lead, Rachel Outhred and with the start-up of the Global Partnership for Education Country-Level Evaluation, with Itad as co-lead with Universalia.

Expanding our work in fragile contexts with the CSSF

Itad’s FCAS theme has had an exciting year in continuing to provide evidence and learning support to the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). Our work in Eastern Africa has continued to strengthen M&E tools and evidence gathering, develop innovative approaches to monitoring and analysis, and support learning and decision making. We have also begun this year to work with CSSF portfolios in the Middle East and North Africa, expanding our support to nearly 20 countries.

Understanding social norms of adolescent girls in Nigeria

The Gender theme has been distilling its experience of measuring social norms change on DFID Nigeria’s flagship programme Voices for Change.  See our publication here and keep an eye on the V4C website for other forthcoming publications on the programme’s results and learning about what works.

Supporting adaptive learning with the Hewlett Foundation

Helping clients become more effective though supporting learning and adaptation is at the heart of the Governance theme’s work, as highlighted most recently in a blog by the Hewlett Foundation, who we are helping “dig into a set of questions each year, bringing us as a team together to reflect on what they’re finding from grantees and others, so that we can adjust our thinking and grantmaking as we go.”

Broadening our health portfolio

This year Itad’s Health Theme has been offering clients utility focused monitoring, evaluation and learning services and partnership in areas including health system strengthening, global health security, mental health, violence against women and girls, HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health. Engagement and research uptake is becoming an increasing area of focus for the Health Theme, who shared the challenges of evaluating human-centred design and early findings from Adolescents 360 at the 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health in October 2017.

Exciting impact investing assessments for a new theme

The Impact Investing theme successfully launched in 2017 with the start-up of multiple projects: Longitudinal Study on Mobilisation and Investor Sentiment for the UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation; Impact Audit for Nesta Investment Management; M&E system advisory and evaluations for Argidius Foundation of ImpactHub, Enclude, and Alterna in Latin America, and Intellecap and GrowthAfrica in East Africa.

Building capacity for evidence-informed decision making

The Organisational Effectiveness theme continues to deliver a variety of MEL services, including work on BCURE which is helping to shape and inform the upcoming Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact programme; partnering to strengthen capacity for MEL under the Monitoring and Evaluation of Denmark-Myanmar Country Programme; continuing to work as a MEL partner to the International Decision Support Initiative to look at how capacity is built for evidence-informed priority setting; and setting up and managing the WFP’s post-hoc quality assessment for centralised and decentralised evaluations. 

Our Savings Learning Lab and working on market development

The Private Sector Development theme presented our work on the use of mixed methods to evaluate Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme at the Conclave of South Asia Evaluators and has undertaken two sessions at this year’s SEEP annual conference as part of our work on the MCF Learning Lab.

Our team expands in Social Protection and Livelihoods

The Social Protection and Livelihoods theme is reunited and expanded, with Ethel back from maternity leave and Vishal returned from more than 2 years on the Rural Access Programme in Nepal, and Ben Harris newly recruited. From the home base, the midline report on the Child Development Grants work in Northern Nigeria was very well received by DFID where it was shared as an example of a “well-written, concise and really useable qualitative report”. The WASH team secured an extension to their large multi-annual contract in results verification, becoming a market leader in this space.

To find out more about what are themes are working on, have a look at our project overviews.