Resource Feeds

Building natural capital: how REDD+ can support a Green Economy

ODI general feed - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 00:00
This report, on the current status and future potential of REDD+, describes the many benefits of forests and other ecosystems as a way of demonstrating that forests have multiple values beyond carbon sequestration and indeed are a foundation for sustainable societies. In doing so it provides a summary of the elements necessary for integrating REDD+ into a green economy, providing policymakers with innovative ideas for supporting economic development while maintaining or increasing forest cover.
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Africa's 'hidden water': can it secure agricultural growth and food security?

ODI general feed - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 00:00
On the eve of World Water Day, we investigate media claims that African agriculture sits atop a vast reserve of untapped water that could fuel a green revolution. 
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Africa's 'hidden water': can it secure agricultural growth and food security?

ODI general feed - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 00:00
Twelve months ago a paper on Africa’s water resources made the news headlines. African agriculture, so the story went, sits atop a vast reserve of untapped water that could fuel a green revolution. Can groundwater really fuel an agrarian transformation similar to that of South Asia, but without the ‘race to the bottom’ of the continent’s aquifers?

The event is held to mark World Water Day, and will be hosted by the ODI Water Policy Programme, Global Water Initiative East Africa and UEA’s Water Security Research Centre. Join us at ODI's offices in London or follow online.
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From ground to growth: can Africa's hidden water resource help secure future agricultural growth and food security?

ODI general feed - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 00:00
An ODI Water Policy Programme, Global Water Initiative East Africa and University of East Anglia event marking World Water Day
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Cultivating System Change Webinar Changed

Networking Action - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 11:34
Thursday, March 27:  Cultivating system change – a practitioners companion

NOTE:  The day has been changed to Thursday, and times are different for US/Canada because of daylight savings irregularities:  8am PT/ 11am ET/ 3pm UK/ 4pm CET (1 hour)

Presenter:

Ann Gillard on Measuring Fun in Summer Camp

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:15

Howdy! I’m Ann Gillard, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, located in Ashford, CT. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded by Paul Newman in 1988 and serves children and families in our region who are living with serious and life-threatening illnesses through summer camp, family weekends, hospital outreach, alumni, and other innovative programs. In my role, I frequently create surveys for children to find out about their levels of satisfaction with the program activities.

Lessons Learned:

  • “Levels of satisfaction with the program activities” is not too child-friendly! Instead, I created a “Fun Scale” (H/T to Mark F. Roark, Utah State University).
  • The response categories in the Fun Scale are: I Didn’t Do This, No Fun, A Little Fun, Some Fun, and A Lot of Fun. Here is a snippet of the survey:

  • In my other qualitative research with youth in camp settings, the idea of “fun” really varied by child. For example, a common answer to the interview question “What did you like about camp?” was “It was fun!” Probing questions would typically reveal why it was fun – doing new or challenging activities, being with friends, feeling a part of a group, etc. It would be easy to overthink this, but I wanted the survey to be simple and manageable.
  • For this survey, it was less important to understand what made each activity fun, and more important to provide campers with a quick opportunity to self-report fun.
  • Campers aged 7-18 completed this on their second-to-last-day at camp, and reliability for the scale was very good, even for the younger campers.
  • Follow-up observational tools and interviews with staff revealed some key aspects of the most fun activities, such as freedom to make choices, skill-building, and doing an activity at camp that they couldn’t do at home.

Hot Tips:

  • Include an option for “I didn’t do this.” In reviewing the data from the first camp session, we found that some campers said an activity was A Lot of Fun, even though their group didn’t actually go to that activity!
  • Include a “Comments” option. Only a few campers entered comments, but counselors reported that those campers enjoyed making jokes or indicating their favorite activity.
  • Consider how results will be utilized. In our case, looking at the key components of the most fun activities helped guide discussions with program staff in a program improvement process.
  • Fun scores can be analyzed to see how they relate to outcomes (such as feelings of safety or friendship), and how fun might differ by group (i.e., girls and boys, older and younger campers, etc.).
  • Remember that it’s OK for children to have fun at camp!

 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. Nancy Aguirre on Likert Scales
  2. LAWG Week: Patricia Moore Shaffer on STEM Evaluation in Informal Settings
  3. CP TIG Week: Melissa Strompolis and Suzanne Sutphin on Measuring Well-Being in Child Welfare

Markets in crises and transitions London roundtable

ODI general feed - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:00
​This roundtable brought together researchers and practitioners whose work relates to market analysis and market development, research on markets and livelihoods in crises, and humanitarian response. It's aim was to reflect on what is already known about markets and livelihoods in crises, to prioritise the current research and analysis gaps and to identify potential implications for development and humanitarian practice of what we already know.
Categories: Resource Feeds

Steve Young on Making Evaluation Surveys More Appealing

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 01:15

I’m Steve Young, a recent evaluation post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in Greensboro, NC. Currently, I work at Design Interactive in Oveido, FL.

Have you ever thought about how you could make evaluation surveys more “catchy?”

Rad Resource: Read “Contagious” by Jonah Berger which offers some research-based tips for how anyone can make what they do “popular.”

I’ve summarized Berger’s 6 research-based principles and brainstormed some implications for evaluation survey design in the context of leadership development evaluation.

Hot Tip #1: Increase the social currency of something because people share things that make them look good. CCL’s Evaluation Center is trying out the use of new rating tools such as the graphic slider or pick group rank options now available from online survey platforms. Individuals might mention these surveys to others more often than they do the standard Likert style.

Hot Tip #2: Embed environmental triggers within the thing/idea you are looking to promote. On a survey, you could show a particular leadership model or graphic that was frequently shown during the training program. By strategically placing these types of reminders on the evaluation, you may trigger individuals’ thoughts of important course content or at least “warm” them up to taking a look back what they did in the program.

Hot Tip #3: Make people emotionally care about something because they will be more likely to share it. Consider posting a picture on the evaluation survey showing the participants engaged in a meaningful and thoughtful development activity. Who doesn’t like seeing something that reminds them of a positive experience?

Hot Tip #4: Turn private experiences into something that can be shared publicly and allow for there to be behavioral residue (i.e. postings about program experience on LinkedIn). At CCL, we have been experimenting with the social network site Yammer and allowing program participants to give feedback to facilitators publicly. This allows individuals to build off each other’s comments about their developmental experience and connect in a way that was previously not possible.

Hot Tip #5: Give people practical tips that help them with wealth, health, and family. At CCL, we provide participants with some free post-program resources at myCCL forum. When approaching program alumni with a survey request, we also remind participants of everything that is available to support their development after the program.

Hot Tip #6: Tell stories that contain information that has social currency, emotion, and practical value. Perhaps you can link the respondent to a thoughtful and informative video of someone who has been through a program and experienced transformative change and impact.

(Share Clip)

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. YFE Week: Katie Richards-Schuster on a Declaration for Youth Participation
  2. Carla Hillerns on Thoughtful Tokens of Appreciation to Encourage Study Participation
  3. Jessica Foster on Maximizing Survey Response Rates

Climate finance in Tanzania: what is recorded in the national budget?

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00
​This paper synthesises findings from the September 2013 report ‘Tanzania National Climate Change Finance Analysis’ prepared by ODI and the Centre for Climate Change Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, and suggests actions that could improve the effective delivery of climate finance in the country.
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Tools for bridging research and policy: the RAPID Context, Evidence, Links Framework

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00
The context, evidence, links framework can be used as a conceptual framework to help researchers and policy entrepreneurs understand the role that evidence based research plays, amongst other issues, in influencing policy.
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The trouble with budget transparency

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00
Placing documents in the public domain does not guarantee citizens have the ability to engage with the information in meaningful ways.
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Advanced course payment

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00

Categories: Resource Feeds

Planning for an uncertain future: promoting adaptation to climate change through Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00
Despite change and uncertainty being at the heart of development, many actors continue to plan for the near-term with little room for manoeuvre or contingency. Three- to five-year planning and funding cycles remain the norm. A move towards promoting more Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making (FFDM) is therefore crucial.
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The search for common ground: civil–military relations in Pakistan

ODI general feed - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:00
How do humanitarian agencies engage with militaries that are both a belligerent in the conflict and the primary responder to disasters? Drawing from interviews with key military and civilian actors engaged in humanitarian response, this report explores the complexities and challenges of civil-military coordination in Pakistan, from the earthquake response in 2005 to the 2010 floods.
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Sean Owen and Teresa Doksum on Data Security on a Shoestring Budget

American Evaluation Association 365 Blog - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 01:15

Hi, We are Sean Owen and Teresa Doksum from the Abt Associates Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Sean is an information security expert and Director of Abt’s Client Cybersecurity Center. Teresa is a health services researcher and chair of the IRB. We review large-scale evaluations of government programs in the fields of health, education, social welfare, housing, and criminal justice.

If you collect sensitive data (e.g. personally identifiable information, medical records, school records, data about a sensitive topic), tracking which data is going where is very important, but just as important is protecting it. Knowing which encryption tool to use isn’t easy, especially if do not have access to IT security resources. Below are some of the encryption tools that can help protect your sensitive data. They include solutions for the cloud, 1-person evaluators, and a couple for evaluators who are too big to work out of the home anymore.

To learn more about tools for securely transmitting, storing, or destroying sensitive data, attend our AEA Coffee Break Webinar: “Data Security on a Shoestring Budget” at 2 pm on March 20th, 2014. Click here to register.

Rad Resources: Encryption Tools to try or buy:

SpiderOak – Provides private online backup, sync and sharing so that you can instantly retrieve files from any device, anywhere. They offer 2 gig for free, and a pricing structure for more.

Symantec Encryption (formerly PGP) – Offers data encryption and protection for laptops, desktops, endpoints, email, mobile, and data in the cloud. Trial and paid versions are available.

Sophos SafeGuard Encryption – Protection for your data on computers, shared folders, removable media and even the cloud. Trial and paid versions are available.

(Share Clip)

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. Teresa Doksum and Sean Owen on Data Security Tips
  2. Mario Lurig on Safeguarding Your Data Sharing
  3. Michelle Landry and Judy Savageau on No Need to Reinvent the Wheel: Project Management Tools for Your Evaluation Projects

Topic Guide: Land

ODI general feed - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 00:00
This Land Topic Guide is written for DFID staff, but is relevant to all development professionals. The guide provides a summary of the latest thinking around contemporary global land issues in developing countries by focusing on the most recent discourses and topics related to land. It provides guidance on and advice for how this knowledge can be used in practice by policy advisors.
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Humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors: key lessons from Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia

ODI general feed - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 00:00
Drawn from over 500 interviews with aid workers, members of armed groups (including the Taliban, Al-Shabaab and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North) and others, this policy brief highlights key lessons from a two-year research project on humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors in Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan.
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Why do elections matter?

ODI general feed - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 00:00

Over the past three decades elections have become almost universal. Yet while they hold tremendous promise to deepen the quality of democratic governance, they can also be problematic.

Categories: Resource Feeds

Timeline: history of humanitarian negotiations

ODI general feed - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 00:00

For aid workers, talking to armed groups is vital to reaching civilians in need of help. These negotiations are extremely delicate and have often been shrouded in secrecy. However, the dilemmas of  negotiating with armed groups are as old as humanitarian action itself. The interactive timeline below offers a reminder of this forgotten history, tracing key developments in humanitarian dialogue with armed groups from the Spanish Civil War to Syria.

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Blog series: Valuing progress - development's difficult choices. What would you choose?

ODI general feed - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 00:00

Development policies need to factor in what really matters when it comes to improving people’s lives. Which – of all the possible benefits of development– do poor people value the most? And why? Do they influence the decisions that are being made on their behalf? There is growing consensus that the views of those most directly affected are crucial to make the best possible use of finite resources.

There are many ways to include the views of poor people in policy development and progress monitoring. Over the coming weeks, Development Progress will feature a blog series  that outlines some of these approaches. From a capabilities index in rural Malawi to an analysis of people’s priorities in different sectors, via a discussion about the barriers that stop development professionals hearing what people say.

We start this blog series with a question. What would you choose if you were asked about what is important in making your life better? This question is at the heart of our new poll, aiming to find out what really matters when it comes to human development. [Note: the poll has now closed]

Categories: Resource Feeds