Collected guidance materials, manuals, and writing.
I have invested a lot of time into writing guidance and developing training on the methods I use in monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL).
I have worked with and train a lot of programme teams who are working internationally for the first time and need the basics, as well as seasoned MEL veterans who are hungry for better approaches.
Below is a collection of the guidance, manuals, and thinking that I have written on everything from proper programme theory to participatory contribution analysis. Some of this will be simply expansive of known methods such as writing stories of change (though guidance on how to do this is surprisingly sparse) or strategy testing, but a lot of it is specific to my way of thinking and approaching MEL. I hope this is helpful for you too.
As said, this site is very much a work in progress so bear with me as it updates and I work out the kinks. I’ll link to associated blog posts where possible, but for now these will be in clickable links below.
Actor Based Change Frameworks
Struggling to articulate complex change? Needing to integrate systems-thinking in an accessible way? Actor-Based Change frameworks are your friend. Click the image for a collection of guidance.
Contribution analysis frequently feels abstract for programme teams, and usually happens at them rather than with them. Contribution Courts aim to create a participatory experience that validates contribution claims while allowing for collective learning.
Useful Theories of Change
How many times have you found yourself in the age old ‘is this an ‘output’ or and ‘outcome’?!’ confusion? Do Theories of Change (ToC) feel like a tick-box exercise for your donor? Struggle to get your teams to see the relevance of a ToC? Try the Useful Theory of Change; I guarantee it’s a game changer.
Changing behaviour feels like a complex, nebulous thing to embark on. That’s because it is – I will never deny that it is a highly challenging aspect of any programme. However, there are helpful ways to approach it that feel less intimidating.
What is complexity and why is it relevant to your work? Ironically complexity is quite a simple concept. Click here for a small primer on how to think about it in an accessible way, and how to identify it in your work.
There are two characters an evaluator often ends up playing in workshop setting: the troll or Socrates. Click here to see the difference, and when you might prefer to invoke Socrates instead.
It’s all very well having a theory for your change, but then how are you going to measure it? This is where we have to start thinking about indicators of change and how to intelligently assess success without bean counting. Did you know there are 7 types of indicator? Click here for more.
Putting the ‘L’ in ‘MEL’
Learning is something so intuitive to us. In our every day life we assess choices against information available to us and make decisions. Yet, in programming, it can be surprisingly hard to do well. Click here for my musings and ideas on how to foster human-centred learning.
Qualitative evidencing products
It’s easy to fall into the trap of vague or not-fully-evidenced qualitative products when evaluating your programme. As Aid transparency and impact becomes more and more crucial, take a look at some of my guidance on how to do this well and with rigour.