Resource Feeds

Beyond basics: the growth of post-primary education in Kenya

ODI general feed - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 00:00
​This study describes the remarkable progress in education access at the post-primary level in Kenya in the last decade and the driving factors behind it. School life expectancy in Kenya increased by a third in the last decade, from 8.4 years in 2000 to 11 years in 2009 - outpacing most other African countries. This figure captures improvements in the transition rate from primary to secondary level, a jump in completion rates at secondary level and quadrupled enrolment to tertiary education (from a very low base). Gender equity is another area of long-term progress in post-primary education in Kenya.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Towards better education quality: Indonesia’s promising path

ODI general feed - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 00:00
​Since 2000, Indonesia has made huge efforts to improve educational outcomes, as measured by increased literacy, progress in international assessment results, and completion of primary and lower-secondary education in line with the government’s policy on nine years of compulsory education. As in many other developing countries, it has proved to be a great challenge to move beyond improving access to education and towards achieving meaningful gains in the quality and equity of education, but there have been some positive trends in this regard.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Improvements in the quality of basic education: Chile's experience

ODI general feed - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 00:00
​Chile is one of the few countries to have improved the quality of its basic education significantly in recent decades. Following the pro-market reforms of the Pinochet years, concerted efforts to improve the quality of education began in the 1990s. As a result of these efforts, there have been clear improvements in the country’s performance in national and international test scores. Chile has moved from the middle of the pack to pole position in education quality, outperforming other countries in the region in all subjects in the 2006, 2009 and 2012 PISA examinations (Programme for International Student Assessment). Improvements in quality have taken place alongside substantial cumulative improvements in access, retention, repetition and completion rates in basic education, as well as significant progress on other socioeconomic factors.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Will elections in Indonesia mean power for the provinces?

ODI general feed - Sun, 07/06/2014 - 00:00

'While the two candidates exchange big promises on Indonesia's economy, a little noticed battle for regional autonomy is going on amid the Presidential elections of the world's third largest economy.'

Categories: Resource Feeds

Sheila B Robinson on Fast, Free, User-Friendly Eval Content at Your Fingertips!

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 06:11

Image Credit: The Hamster Factor via Flickr

Hi! Sheila B Robinson here, aea365′s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with a few favorite eval sites with a broad range of content and free resources. Due to space limitations, I’ve left out descriptions of the most well known, but I do have them all and more here.

Lesson Learned: Start with: AEABetter Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Office of the Associate Director for Program – Program EvaluationCommunity Solutions Planning and EvaluationFree Resources for Program Evaluation and Social Research MethodsInnovation Network Point K Learning CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-Extension Program Development and Evaluation, and Western Michigan University Evaluation Center.

Hot Tip: Check out these other sites for great content too!

Betty C. Jung’s Website

  • Huge collection of links organized into categories – Evaluation 101, Evaluation Guidelines, Evaluation Resources, Evaluation Templates, Logic Model Resources (government and non-government), Logic Model Templates, Public Health Program Evaluation, Evaluation of government programs, US Government Accountability Office, and more.

The Community Toolbox

  • This site is primarily for community development, but does include evaluation resources. Look at the table of contents and scroll down to Part J: Evaluating Community Programs and Initiatives.

Evaluation Toolkit for Magnet School Programs

  • Good basic resources for school-based programs; tools and resources may also inform evaluations of other types of programs.
  • Organized around six areas:
    • Set the stage for purposeful evaluation, Develop a theory of action for your program, Evaluate implementation to document what you are doing, Evaluate outcomes to show your program is making a difference, Get quality data into your evaluator’s hands, Take action in response to evaluation results.

The Free Management Library Basic Guide to Program Evaluation

  • “This document provides guidance toward planning and implementing an evaluation process for for-profit or nonprofit programs…”
  • Online guide to PE features sections on Where PE is helpful, Basic ingredients, Planning PE, Major Types of PE, Overview of methods to collect information, selecting which methods to use, Analyzing and interpreting information, Reporting evaluation results, Who should carry our the evaluation, contents of an evaluation plan, pitfalls to avoid.

Learning for Sustainability

  • “This LfS portal is a reference guide for those working to support social learning and collective action around sustainability issues.”
  • Though not devoted entirely to evaluation, this site features a wealth of evaluation resources including links to other sites, and downloadable papers and booklets.
  • Look for sections of the site devoted to “Planning, monitoring and evaluation” and “Research methods and approaches.”

Shaping Outcomes

  • While focused on Outcomes-Based Planning and Evaluation for Libraries and Museums, this website offers easy definitions of terms and examples with a free online course organized into 5 modules: Overview, Plan, Build, Evaluate and Report. It even includes instructor materials for teaching the course on shaping outcomes.

Something for everyone! Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

Related posts:

  1. Margaret Riel on Learning Circles
  2. A. Rae Clementz on Evaluation Tech Resources
  3. Stewart Donaldson on Interactive Conceptual Modeling

Lisa Kohne on Developing Evaluation Newsletters to Disseminate Results To Multi-Site Participants

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 01:14

Hello! I’m Lisa Kohne, an independent evaluator and I work for SmartStart Consulting in Orange County, California. We specialize in conducting project evaluations for federally funded grants, primarily from the National Science Foundation. Most of our clients are math, science, and engineering professors from four-year universities. One of our big challenges is that some of our projects are multi-institutional, multi-state, and multi-country. It’s very difficult to bring multiple partners together at the same time to discuss evaluation findings – and most don’t have the time, inclination, or enough evaluation knowledge to read lengthy reports.

Hot tip:
To overcome these challenges we began to develop Evaluation Newsletters. They are usually two pages with lots of graphs, maps, and tables. We try to make them colorful, high-interest, and eye-catching. Some are wordier than others and our “skills” have evolved over the years. You can see the evolution from one of our earlier version (very wordy) to our more recent version (less wordy, more white space).

We only offer these to our larger, multi-site projects.  The reactions and feedback have been extremely positive.  No PI has ever turned down the offer to create a newsletter.  They are also great to distribute at advisory board meetings and project conferences.

Rad Resources:

  • Google Images works great for the simple clipart needed for newsletters. Simple is better. Just be careful to not use copyrighted ones.
  • Microsoft Publisher is our current choice of software.  We’ve tried Word but Publisher lines up the information much better.  Also, the new online subscriptions to MS Office 365 include Publisher.

SmartArt is our go to graphic developer.  Only available in MS Word, not Publisher.  So you need to create it in Word and paste it into Publisher.

Lessons Learned:

  • Less is more.  Less words, more pictures, lots of bullet points.
  • Make it personal and make it positive.  Add university and project logos, project goals, maps that indicate locations of participating institutions, funders’ logs, and anonymous quotes from participants.
  • Newsletters take a lot of time so build the cost into the budget.
  • Recruit your most artistic employee to create your newsletters – someone who understands color, balance, and brevity of words.
  • Send a sample to stakeholders and ask if it would be helpful to get evaluation results out.
  • Get commitment from your principal investigator to email the newsletters out to all stakeholders and/or project participants and post them on their project webpage.  Here is a webpage containing out newsletters on a NSF PIRE project.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Related posts:

  1. Gwen Fariss Newman on Using Newsletters to Connect with Others
  2. Susan Kistler on Leaving Wordle for Tagxedo
  3. Tarek Azzam on Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The political economy of climate compatible development

ODI general feed - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 00:00
This event will present the findings from case studies in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique on the political economy of climate compatible development (CCD).
Categories: Resource Feeds

The political economy of climate compatible development: Lessons from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique

ODI general feed - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 00:00
Climate compatible development (CCD) initiatives do not happen in a vacuum. Rather, they unfold within and are shaped by existing policy and decision making processes. Evidence suggests that an understanding of politics is crucial to delivering outcomes that help the poorest and most vulnerable people, but political economy analysis is missing from much engagement on climate change and development. This event will present the findings from 3 case studies on the political economy of CCD, leading to an interactive panel discussion around the political economy of climate compatible development.
Categories: Resource Feeds

The political economy of climate compatible development: Lessons from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique

ODI general feed - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 00:00
Climate compatible development (CCD) initiatives do not happen in a vacuum. Rather, they unfold within and are shaped by existing policy and decision making processes. Evidence suggests that an understanding of politics is crucial to delivering outcomes that help the poorest and most vulnerable people, but political economy analysis is missing from much engagement on climate change and development. This event will present the findings from 3 case studies on the political economy of CCD, leading to an interactive panel discussion around the political economy of climate compatible development.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Links Roundup: Research, Publications, and Country Budget Developments

Open Budgets blog - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 07:06

Ahead of the 4 July holiday in the States, we’ve compiled a list of publications, articles, and other interesting links to keep you up-to-date on recent happenings related to budget work, participatory budgeting initiatives, budget websites, and much more. Enjoy!

Research and publications

ODDC Dissemination of the Uganda/Kenya Case Study: Highlights (Development Initiatives)

  • This post reviews the findings of a study “How open data could contribute to poverty eradication in Kenya and Uganda through its impacts on resource allocation.”

Book Review: Public Financial Management and Its Emerging Architecture (IMF PFM Blog)

  • A fresh look at the book PFM and Its Emerging Architecture which was published last year and edited by Marco Cangiano.

A Needless Journey (The Politics of Poverty, Oxfam America)

  • In this video interview, Semkae Kilonzo of Policy Forum Tanzania talks about the importance of budget transparency and civil participation as a tool for breaking through barriers and bottlenecks in government.

Tech Projects for Transparency – A New Guide to the “Fundamentals” That Deliver Impact and Save Money (Transparency & Accountability Initiative)

  • TAI has released a new guide called “Fundamentals for Using Technology in Transparency and Accountability Organisations” which deals with everything from defining a strategy to monitoring outcomes of technology projects.
  • The guide is available to view on TAI’s website or to download as a PDF.

Country news

 China’s Audit Office Plays Powerful but Silent Role in Anticorruption Crackdown

  • China’s National Audit Office (NAO) is contributing to the country’s battle against corruption. Last year, audit offices across the country scrutinized more than 150,000 companies and government departments. The NAO’s efficiency is partially due to the fact that it keeps its inner workings confidential.

 What Happens When Silicon Valley Experiments With Direct Democracy

  • This post talks about adding new digital technologies to participatory budgeting in the San Francisco area.

 New Budgetary Website Makes Dutch Aid More Transparent (Development Initiatives)

  • The Dutch Minister for international trade and development cooperation has launched a budgetary website which provides full access to the ministry’s overall budget, with estimated and actual expenditures which are cross-referenced with their individual activities, driven from live IATI data.

Mozambique: Budget Support in Decline (All Africa)

  • Donors have sharply cut the support they give to the Mozambican state budget.

World Bank Endorses New Country Partnership Strategy for Philippines (Manilla Bulletin)

  • The World Bank’s new country partnership strategy (CPS) will support the Philippines’ goal of promoting growth that reduces poverty and creates more and better jobs. The CPS will guide the World Bank’s engagement in the Philippines from 2015 until 2018.

 Budget Transparency in Uganda to be Achieved through ICT? (New Vision, Uganda)

  • Uganda’s Minister of Finance mentioned a number of new systems — including an SMS system, hotline, and website for the public to participate in budget decisions and monitoring — to enhance budget transparency and accountability.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Bethany Laursen on How to Evaluate the Situation, Not Just the Program: It’s Complex!

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 01:15

I’m Bethany Laursen, Evaluation Outreach Specialist with the Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center (SHWEC) at the University of Wisconsin. I’m also principal consultant at Laursen Evaluation and Design, LLC. At SHWEC, I help staff design programs that engage opportunities to achieve our mission. Opportunity hunting requires a form of situation assessment, which has not been widely or deeply discussed in evaluation—especially when it comes to evaluating opportunities in complex, dynamical situations.

Rad Resource: AEA’s EvalTalk and TIG group listservs as peer learning communities.

Through EvalTalk, several colleagues helped me distinguish among three approaches/tools that all claim to be useful in developing programs in complex situations: needs assessment (NA), developmental evaluation (DE), and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis.

Lesson Learned: NA, DE and SWOT are all necessary parts of evaluating complex situations and program responses.

To summarize this discussion so far, we have the following options, where () means “as a part of” e.g. NA is a part of SWOT:

  1. NA–>SWOT–>DE
  2. SWOT(NA)–>DE
  3. NA–>DE(SWOT)
  4. DE(NA, SWOT)

Any of these combinations is logical, although #4 might be difficult without one of the others occurring first. What is not logical is leaving one of the triumvirate out (NA, DE, and SWOT). Here’s why:

SWOT is inherently evaluative: it assigns data a certain value label (S, W, O, or T), based on the criteria “effect on our organization’s goals.” Clearly, we need data to do a reality-based SWOT, and this is why we must include a needs assessment. But a NA per se is not going to be enough data, because many clients think a NA is just about external stakeholders’ needs (Os), not internal capacity (Ss and Ws) or larger system realities (often Ts). (If preferred, one could also frame a NA as an ‘asset assessment.’) These external and internal ‘lessons learned’ from our situation should inform developmental program evaluation.

In complex situations, needs assessment is more usefully framed as ongoing situation assessment. This is what I see as the main evaluation task in the Creative Destruction phase of the adaptive cycle. Once we have a lay of the land (situation assessment) and we’ve evaluated the best path to start down (SWOT analysis), then we can jump into developmental evaluation of that path. Of course, what we find along the way might cause us to re-assess our situation and strategy, which is why #4 above is a logical choice.

Lesson Learned: Listen to the language your clients are using to identify relevant evaluation approaches and tools. In SHWEC’s case, our connection to the business sector led me to SWOT analysis, strategic planning, and Lean Six Sigma, all of which are evaluative without necessarily marketing themselves as evaluation approaches.

Figure 1: Augmenting a traditional logic model, this is a metaphorical picture of how SHWEC understands our complex, dynamical situation and our potential evaluation questions. (Each sailboat is a staff member.) Next, I had to find evaluation approaches that would fit.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Related posts:

  1. Michael Quinn Patton on Developmental Evaluation
  2. DE Week: Kate McKegg and Nan Wehipeihana on Talking to Clients and Communities about Developmental Evaluation
  3. MNEA Week: Pat Seppanen on Evaluating Complex Adaptive Systems

Gender, youth and urban labour market participation: evidence from the tailoring sector in Kabul, Afghanistan

ODI general feed - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 00:00
What should better jobs for young people in Afghanistan look like? Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) looks at the tailoring sector in Kabul to find out about the constraints facing women and men.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Weighing people's values in evaluation

ODI general feed - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 00:00
'One of the very first steps for conducting an evaluation is to determine what ‘success’ looks like. Yet the process of defining and agreeing the values which will be used to make judgements is often one of the more mysterious parts of evaluation - or overlooked altogether.'
Categories: Resource Feeds

Disaster risk governance: unlocking progress and reducing risk

ODI general feed - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 00:00
This paper assesses the institutional, policy and legislative environment around disasters and identifies some of the key drivers of progress towards developing more proactive measures to reduce disaser risk and avoid the creation of risk in the future.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Heather King on Tips for Working With School District Research Review Boards

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 01:15

Hi!  I’m Heather King, an Associate Project Director at Outlier Research & Evaluation at the University of Chicago. I’d like to share some tips for applying to conduct research in school districts.

Research review boards (RRBs) and institutional review boards (IRBs) are tasked with ensuring that research and evaluation projects meet the requirements for protecting human subjects. If you are collecting interview, questionnaire, focus group, or any other data directly from human subjects, you are required to earn IRB/RRB approval. You’ll need to apply separately for IRB/RRB approval at your own institution and for each school district you’ll collect data in.

I’ve completed successful IRB/RRB applications for some of the largest school districts in the United States and I’d like to share some tips for success.

Lessons Learned:

Start early. Earning district IRB approval is a prerequisite for each of our research and evaluation projects, so we do everything we can do ensure that our IRB applications are well received. The first step is beginning applications early, at least 2 months before the deadline. This gives you time to collect or create the necessary documents, such as instruments and consent forms, and to ensure that your institutional IRB has been approved.

Know the deadlines. Many districts meet only a few times a year to read and approve IRB applications, so meeting the deadline is critical. You might not have another chance to submit your application for another 6 months! Knowing the deadlines can help you plan your evaluation too. For example, if your project begins after a district IRB application deadline has already passed, you can plan in advance to begin data collection around the next IRB deadline.

Read everything. After you’ve done a few IRB applications, it can start to feel like they’re all the same, and generally they are. But each district has its own nuances; don’t wait until you get a rejection letter to learn that! In particular, read details about consent, compensation/incentives, and data collection timing because policies vary widely from district to district. For example, the Chicago Public School RRB requires that your instruments be physically stamped with approval from your home institution IRB.

Make some friends in the IRB office. Navigating the IRB process for each district takes a lot of time, and you’ll undoubtedly have questions. It helps to have a contact in the IRB office that can help explain the process and answer any questions you might have. In my experience, IRB offices appreciate being asked detailed questions because they get so many applications that have not been carefully prepared.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

 

Related posts:

  1. Felix Blumhardt on Simplifying the Data Collection Process with User-Friendly Workbooks
  2. Ed Eval TIG Week: Tara Donahue on Avoiding Surprises: Collaborating with the District’s Research Departments
  3. MNEA Week: Katherine Drake on Requesting Data from School Districts

Political flag or conceptual umbrella? Why progress on resilience must be freed from the constraints of technical arguments

ODI general feed - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:00
Is resilience a political flag or conceptual umbrella? This policy brief examines the different arguments for resilience and argues that resilience should not be a technical discipline, but should shape political decisions about development.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Elections in post-conflict states: the best way to legitimacy?

ODI general feed - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:00
Elections are deemed essential to provide needed legitimacy and to enable citizens to take part in shaping a common future. Yet elections can also be destabilising and act as detonators of (further) violence and conflict if conditions are not right. This event will draw on experiences from a variety of (post)-conflict countries to consider the challenges and opportunities posed by electoral processes in post-conflict setttings.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Elections in post-conflict states: the best way to legitimacy?

ODI general feed - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 00:00
Elections are deemed essential to provide needed legitimacy and to enable citizens to take part in shaping a common future. Yet elections can also be destabilising and act as detonators of (further) violence and conflict if conditions are not right. This event will draw on experiences from a variety of (post)-conflict countries to consider the challenges and opportunities posed by electoral processes in post-conflict setttings.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Job Offer: Head of PEFA Secretariat – Washington, DC

PFM blog - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 15:16
The World Bank is hiring on behalf of the PEFA partners (the World Bank, the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Ministry of...
Categories: Resource Feeds