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Attending Evaluation 2018? Check out our guide to this year’s conference!

DME for Peace

Created 10/30/2018

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ADVANCED, BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE

Are you attending this week’s American Evaluation Association’s Annual Conference: Evaluation 2018? Check out DME for Peace’s recommendations for what’s not to be missed in Cleveland, Ohio! For a list of all the events, check out the Evaluation 2018 website.

Thursday, November 1st

Purposeful Learning from Monitoring and Evaluation Activities to Help Programs Adapt

When: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Where: CC – Global Center Ballroom B Roosevelt 2

Purposeful learning at the program and organizational level requires approaches, commitment and budgeting for flexible monitoring and evaluation systems. This in turn enables programs to learn, make mistakes, adapt and respond quickly to stakeholder needs. While most evaluation findings summarize what is working at program mid or end-point, they are often too late for making course corrections. On the other hand, planned learning activities that include data reviews, reflection sessions and feedback loops for program staff, beneficiaries and clients can be pivotal to ensuring program refinement.

To increase program effectiveness and develop a culture of learning, Mercy Corps and RTI International developed tools and processes to empower programs to use data to learn and adapt. The purpose of this demonstration is to present learning processes and tools which can be applied throughout the program cycle. Examples include: learning agenda and budget templates, data to action frameworks, and data visualization platforms.

Risky Business: Evaluation in High-Risk Political Environments

When: 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Where: CC – 26A

Democracy and human rights activists around the world speak truth to power as they defend the right to fundamental freedoms. Donors and implementing organizations engaged in this work have a responsibility to protect the courageous individuals and organizations they are supporting while at the same time abiding by their institutional obligations to monitor and evaluate.

This roundtable, facilitated by National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House, will explore the ethical and practical questions related to evaluation of democracy and human rights programs in high-risk environments.

Five Organizations and One MEL System: Successes and Challenges

When: 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Where: Hilton – Hope Ballroom A

Protecting Global Rights with Sustainable Solutions (PROGRESS) is a USAID-funded global program led by Freedom House, along with core partners Pact, ABA-ROLI, Internews and Search for Common Ground. PROGRESS is aimed at contributing to the promotion and protection of universally recognized human rights and works with USAID Missions around the world on short and long-term programming, including a rapid response mechanism. Presenters from the consortium will discuss their experience designing and implementing a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system–across a wide range of geographies and thematic focus areas–intended to generate evidence on DRG programming for the broader community.

At the roundtable, the consortium’s MEL leaders will share their MEL model, challenges and successes, and provide a forum for discussion and feedback from other practitioners.

Friday, November 2nd

Accounting for the Supernatural – Key Lessons for the M&E of Inter-religious Action

When: 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Where: Hilton – Center St. Meeting Room A

At a time when religious differences are used to incite violence, the role of faith-based initiatives is pivotal. Religious communities have powerful potential for making significant contributions. Many faith-based and secular organizations work to stem violence, drawing on principles and networks of faith to create more peaceful societies. However inter-religious action as a field is still in a nascent phase, and practitioners have lacked the M&E tools, experience, and evidence to understand which approaches are most effective.

To address this gap, the Effective Inter-Religious Action in Peacebuilding Program (developed by Alliance for Peacebuilding),  has developed a formative approach to capacity building on the M&E of inter-religious action in peacebuilding.

This panel (facilitated by Search for Common Ground & Catholic Relief Services) will explore the implications of evaluating inter-religious action, discuss the feasibility of measuring the impact of the supernatural, examine the leap between individual transformation and societal change, and present key M&E lessons on the distinctiveness of faith-based action or the involvement of religious actors.

Designing a Developmental Evaluation

When: 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Where: CC – 24

Ever wondered how to set up an adaptable, flexible, and utilization-focused developmental evaluation? This skill-building workshop will focus on three key steps to designing a developmental evaluation once you have the buy-in to move forward. Real embedded evaluators will provide an overview of 1) initial data collection and team integration, 2) designing a kickoff workshop, and 3) setting up an evolving evaluation matrix.

Facilitators (Social Impact & Search for Common Ground) will share practical approaches and tools from real world experience on implementing developmental evaluations in the USAID context. Participants will have the chance to work through a case study and receive feedback on a developmental evaluation design sprint as part of a high-level exercise based on these key steps.

This workshop is best suited for an intermediate audience, and will be most beneficial for those considering developmental evaluation, evaluators who might want to be developmental evaluators, or those just starting to implement their own developmental evaluation.

Lend Me Your Indicators – The Pursuit of Peacebuilding Impact Indicators

When: 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Where: CC – 25A

Clear indicators are the basis of effective M&E, but in the peacebuilding field, most of the measurement of impact has been through anecdotal and qualitative means. Peacebuilding as a professional discipline is relatively new, covers a wide array of programming, and has a thin evidence base compared to other sectors.

The Impact Initiative at USIP and the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium (PEC) has grappled with these issues. The PEC has made great progress in developing a core peacebuilding indicator database – a process that has not been without difficulty. This is especially important considering SDG Goal 16, where indicators are being developed for violence reduction, security, and access to justice.

This panel (facilitated by USIP & Alliance for Peacebuilding) will explore the ongoing technical challenges of developing core peacebuilding indicators, measuring impact in peacebuilding programming, including a discussion on funding dynamics, the need for greater learning and sharing of results, and challenging the proprietary nature of M&E.

Lessons from evaluating Multi Track diplomacy work or sensitive and confidential processes

When: 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Where: Hilton – Veterans Meeting Room A

Search for Common Ground works on a variety of sensitive processes including Multi Track diplomacy work. In recent years especially with the escalation of violence around the globe, there became a growing need for Track related diplomacy work, to reach out to people in power who could actually influence conflict dynamics. Often times due to the sensitive discussions and confidential processes and the nature of track work, it is very challenging for as evaluators to Identify the direct impact of our work and actually evaluate it.

By engaging in a “round table” format with different members involved in evaluating Multi Track, diplomacy work, Search MENA Regional Specialist hopes to facilitate an energetic discussion for networking purposes and to explore ideas, share experiences and carry out an in-depth discussion around the role of monitoring and evaluation in Track work , the different methodologies, tools, challenges and lessons learned.

Saturday, November 3rd

Media in peacebuilding

When: 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: CC – 21

While Search for Common Ground believes conflict and differences are inevitable, violence is not. We use media to stir up thoughts and discussions across a whole society about the root causes of violence and how to overcome differences in more recently sensitize communities around radicalizations narratives. Examples of some of the traditional channels we use include: TV dramas, call-in radio shows and music videos. We also use some nontraditional avenues such as social media, interactive games, comic books and more. We constantly attempt to test the effectiveness of our media programs and their impact on local communities, including our underlying theories of change, and we continuously work to develop tools and methodologies that would enable this.

By engaging in a panel discussion with different members working on Media related projects, this panel will share candid and practical lessons learned, reflecting different experiences from different regions of the world.

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