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How we work with clients and partners

Effective partnerships are the bedrock of our work. Our 39 years’ experience has taught us that the way we work is just as important as what we do.

When we work with you, our approach will always be:

User focused

We seek to generate actionable insights that support our partners to strengthen their strategies and impact. Through our experience, we know that this is best achieved when the users of evidence and learning are meaningfully engaged throughout the process. So we apply a collaborative and participatory approach that promotes ownership, co-creation and utilisation among all stakeholders.


The insights we generate must be based on a realistic understanding of what is practical and possible for our partners to implement. We strive to design
monitoring, evaluation and learning processes that are fit-for purpose and that consider the costs and benefits of data collection and the time required for
partners to engage in the process and act on findings.


We always try build on existing work, respecting the time and energy that partners have already invested in thinking about monitoring, evaluation, learning and strategy. This is not only an efficient way of working, but it also helps to gain traction with stakeholders and add value.

Critical friend

Being an effective MEL partner requires us to build collaborative relationships with those whom we are working with. Investing sufficient time and
resources in this is central to our approach. However, we also seek to provide an objective viewpoint. Sometimes this may mean delivering difficult messages around what may not be working, or things that could be done differently. In
navigating these potential tensions in our role, we will always prioritise clear, constructive, appreciative and evidence-based communication.


To generate credible evidence, and to embed systematic learning across different contexts, we require a structured approach to evidence generation
and learning. However, when working on complex initiatives in rapidly changing contexts, we recognise the need to be responsive to evolving needs
and demands. We aim to keep structure and agility in balance and where there are tensions we proactively seek to resolve them through close collaboration with
our partners.

Read more about our approach to equitable partnerships