There is a clear political commitment to measuring and managing for results in the Norwegian aid administration. Despite this commitment however a number of recent evaluations of the aid administration over the last four years have indicated that results are not being measured as consistently or effectively as they should be
Building on these studies, the purpose of this evaluation is to deepen Norad’s understanding of how a focus on results manifests itself in the day-to-day management, implementation and reporting of grants. It will look at the effect of current results specifications on partners, whether and how this drives better programming, and hypothesise the impact this has on development outcomes. It will also look at how data and evidence of results are being used by Norad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to oversee grants, whether a result focus impacts on funding decisions (and levels) and how grant-level results data and evidence are used to manage performance and support learning at the level of the grant scheme rules and a strategic level within the aid administration. During the evaluation, we expect to describe how the Norwegian aid administration applies RBM; identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach to RBM; discuss possible consequences for development outcomes of the current approach, and: suggest areas for improvement.
Our team of RBM and evaluation specialists, are using a theory based and utilisation focussed evaluation design built around testing a theory of change (ToC) for how RBM is put into practice in the Norwegian aid administration and its link with improved partner effectiveness and ultimately improved development outcomes. They are reviewing existing results frameworks, strategies, policies, plans and guidance in the Norwegian aid administration as well as interviews with key stakeholders involved in RBM to understand the current state of play and identify any changes since the evaluation of results measurement in 2014. A case study based approach will be used to test the ToC, using in-depth case studies of selected partners that receive significant funding from the Norwegian aid administration. The findings from the case studies will be validated with a wider range of CSOs and aid administration stakeholders through a series of workshops. Finally, using the ToC as an overarching framework, we will code, compare and synthesise data from the review of results frameworks and strategies, the case studies and FGDs to draw out key learning and insights for the Norwegian aid administration.
Image © The Smallest Ones Photo Credit: Viktor Dobal