Evaluating Capacity Building
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
We recommend a comprehensive evaluation system allowing for learning, sharing, and improvement. This will enable stakeholders to understand the impact of capacity building efforts in support of the movement strategy.
- an evaluation specialist to be part of the unit’s staff from day 1
- funds to sustain internal and external activities around documentation, monitoring, evaluation, reflection and adaptation
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
This recommendation is based on our concurrent recommendation that capacity building structures be sustained and resourced over the long term. Evaluation results will contribute to the growing knowledge base of the movement, providing information on what methods and tools work best in which context. Evaluators should have some funds to commission research, and review existing literature on what has worked or works already in terms of growing healthy communities.
Evaluation of capacity building will be structured so that it asks and provides answers to questions closely related to the strategic direction and its elements, for example:
- how has this activity created more and equitable opportunities for people to join the movement?
- how has this activity contributed to the infrastructure of the ecosystem?
- how has this activity contributed to knowledge equity in community X or region Y?
- the other recommendations of the Working Group are approved and implemented.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
We recommend that evaluating capacity building be based on the following principles:
- Evaluation begins with and is based on assessment and a capacity building plan.
- Capacity building activities are based on a guided self-assessment of assets and needs(using best practices such as appreciative inquiry).
- Evaluation is participatory, rather than a process controlling for achievement of goals and metrics, it is a conversation with the opportunity to improve the activities
- Evaluation is flexible and uses qualitative methods to capture unintended outcomes
- Evaluation is contextual and does not operate with global quantitative metrics
- Evaluation is formative - the results and learnings inform adjustments to the individual and the overall program so that we can more effectively achieve our mission
- Funding is not tied directly to evaluation results in the individual case - however, evaluation data may inform the overall long-term allocation of resources within the capacity building program
- Evaluation data contribute to the growing knowledge base of capacity building practices
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
To date efforts to map and build capacity for movement stakeholders have been ad hoc and un-sustained. With a capacity building structure and programs sustained, documented and evaluated over the long term, we will be able to build an evidence-base of promising and good practices.
Evaluation to date has been focusing largely on programs of grantees - evaluating efforts at strengthening people and organizations and assessing their impact for the Strategic Direction will be a new task, requiring new thinking and skills.
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
Directly: all stakeholder addressed in the definition of CB: Volunteers, staff, organizations, partners, by having access to a growing body of knowledge of practices and tools.
==Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
no risks known at this time
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
it adds a new element: participatory, formative, sustained evaluation of capacity building, directly tied to quality improvement and creating an evidence base of practices.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
All recommendations related to the provision of capacity building activities (Context, organizational development,leadership development ….): need to incorporate evaluation in their process
(R5) Resources: evaluation will have to be staffed and funded
(R1) Building Capacity: emphasizing assessment and a capacity building plan as important tools in the beginning of capacity building interventions, training of trainers on good practices
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
All capacity building recommendations have been developed in response to the scoping questions and community input through Meta, local and regional gatherings, and collaboration across the Movement working groups.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
Not sure...potentially other WG have thought about evaluation.