We are providing technical assistance, capacity building and independent assessments to enable programme teams to develop and implement Measurement, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) frameworks and plans to generate contextual understanding and evidence of programme results.
In addition to supporting learning for programme design and management, our work aims to increase the evidence base on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of CSSF programmes. We will also provide evidence of results for accountability purposes at programme, portfolio and fund level.
This programme will take place over a three-year period working with CSSF Regional teams in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Indian Ocean Directorate, and South East Asia & Pacific Directorate regions.
What is CSSF?
The UK Government-funded Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) works to build peace and stability in countries at risk of instability as well as in regions suffering from long running conflicts. It uses a whole-of-government approach to find creative solutions to meet the most complex national security challenges and promote international peace and stability.
Our consortium, led in partnership with Conflict Management, aims to improve MEL processes across the region and strengthen the generation and use of relevant, high-quality and timely evidence.
This, in turn, will enable:
- Programme teams to work in an agile and adaptive way and use evidence to inform design and adaptation decisions based on an understanding of their changing operating context.
- Programme and portfolio teams to make more effective decisions around how to prioritise CSSF investments in a way that scales up successes, cuts out what is not working and delivers strategic effect and value for money for the UK taxpayer.
- The region to contribute to the global CSSF evidence base on what works and why when tackling conflict, instability and insecurity across APIP, and how this contributes to CSSF fund level outcomes.
Methods & approaches
Itad is working to support a robust framework to enhance MEL processes, employing diverse methods and approaches:
- Accompaniment: Building trust-based partnerships with program teams, enabling tailored MEL systems and reducing dependence on external support.
- Consistency: Ensuring uniformity in evidence generation while accommodating program differences, enabling a coherent evidence-based story of CSSF APIP’s value.
- Innovation: Fostering CSSF APIP as a hub for MEL innovation, delivering real-world solutions to measure change and strategic contributions.
The project consists of four workstreams
1. Developing strong MEL systems through facilitating inclusive processes for Theory of Change (ToC) and Results Frameworks (RF) development.
2. Outcome monitoring and verification
We are conducting context and stability monitoring, using cutting-edge, innovative tools to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Within this, we are integrating outcome monitoring techniques, including a rigorous value for money (VfM) assessment, to guarantee optimal results.
The process is also enhanced through meticulous Political Access and Influence (PAI) monitoring, as well as Third-Party Monitoring (TPM), employing nimble and evaluative approaches. This meticulous approach not only ensures precision but also provides valuable insights for effective decision-making.
3. Evaluation and research strategies
We are conducting:
- Swift and insightful project reviews to offer timely and valuable insights to guide decision-making processes effectively.
- Comprehensive program evaluations emphasising effectiveness, VfM and sustainability to ensure impactful and enduring outcomes.
- Thematic evaluations to enrich the CSSF global evidence base and enhancing the overall understanding of critical themes and issues.
4. Building a learning culture
We are designing customised training sessions are to enhance Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) capabilities, empowering teams with the latest techniques and methodologies. This includes facilitated “learn and adapt” sessions for program teams to foster collaborative learning and adaptive strategies for continuous improvement.
Additionally, we are developing accessible knowledge products, such as evidence briefs and visually engaging storyboards, to distil complex information into easily understandable formats and ensure widespread dissemination and comprehension
The approach combines diverse methods, including outcome harvesting, context monitoring, and political access tracking. It also includes rigorous causal analysis, integrating Effect-Cause and Cause-Effect methodologies.
The strategy is tailored to the specific needs of CSSF teams in the rapidly changing contexts of APIP, emphasizing adaptability and demand-driven learning initiatives.
Outcomes and impact
The programme aims to bring significant outcomes and impact to the CSSF APIP initiatives. It focuses on enabling adaptive decision-making for program teams, ensuring efficient allocation of resources by scaling successful projects and eliminating ineffective ones.
Additionally, the approach contributes valuable insights to the global CSSF evidence base, especially in conflict and security contexts. It establishes robust Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) systems across the region, integrating gender and conflict analysis while tracking progress effectively.
The methodology includes PAI monitoring and independent Third-Party Monitoring in challenging areas. Furthermore, it fosters a culture of learning and collaboration among CSSF APIP teams, promoting knowledge sharing. The creation of accessible knowledge products further enhances understanding and communication of complex information, consolidating the overall impact of the initiatives.