#LEARNING

Itad at Evaluation 2019

We’ll be at ‘Paths to the future of evaluation’, this year’s American Evaluation Association conference, in Minneapolis from 11 to 16 November.

With colleagues from across the world, we’ll be leading sessions and joining discussions on this year’s theme of building the future of evaluation practice. We’ll share insights from across the breadth of our …

The complex reality of evaluation independence

A recent article in the Guardian explored serious concerns raised in the journal BMJ global health about major development funders such as DFID exaggerating the impact of their programmes or ‘gagging’ evaluations when they aren’t as positive as expected.

As a company that does a lot of evaluation for the UK government, including DFID and the FCO, it provoked …

Learning how to create a culture of learning

When we evaluated how the Norwegian Aid Administration practised Results-Based Management (RBM) earlier this year, one of our main conclusions was that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Norad didn’t have a learning culture.  We found some parts of the administration learning from evidence, but these were isolated examples. Evidence-based learning was not …

The power of parsimony: why less might be more when it comes to grantee reporting

It’s a moment that many organisations dread: the looming deadline for a report to a funder.

Done well, the process of gathering and making sense of information about a grantee’s work can be a useful learning exercise for both grantee and funder.

Done badly, it is a time-consuming slog to both compile (on the side of the grantee) and wade through (on the …

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 …

What we learnt at the 2018 UKES conference

Itad had several members of staff involved in this year’s UK Evaluation Society (UKES) conference, which was framed around the evaluation cycle, considering the demand for, supply and use of evidence from evaluations. We asked them to reflect on what they learnt while they were there – keep reading to see what they thought!

RCTs as a gold standard: an idea that …

Learning about learning. Wait! What?

I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks thinking about Learning Partnerships, what they are, what they can offer and how we can make them more effective.

In my role as Project Director on the MasterCard Foundation ‘Savings Learning Lab’ (MCFSLL) I get to work first hand on a learning partnership, and was recently with the foundation participating in a …

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 …

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 …

Rethinking Impact Evaluation for Development

The new IDS Bulletin Rethinking Impact Evaluation for Development is the first of two bulletins which build on the event Impact, Innovation and Learning: Towards a Research and Practice Agenda for the Future, at which the Centre for Development Impact was launched in March 2013.

Issuing a ‘rallying cry’ for impact evaluation to rise to the challenges of a …