We all had to change our ways of working and learning during the pandemic and it was both a challenge and an opportunity. Utilising our experience at developing online trainings, the team at IMA assisted the with the conversion and revision of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Independent Evaluation Department's (IED) Project Evaluation course from face to face to online. The content evolved to be suitable for distance learning on project evaluation. Changes involved revising and developing PowerPoints for webinars and self-study modules; reworking the course structure; objectives; participant learning journey; and adding learning process elements throughout.
The training approach was revised to contain live interactive webinar sessions and materials to make the learning experience engaging, and with development of new material for self-study and group work. Two new video series were created from resources and footage provided by IED, both covering key evaluation messages and ‘Eval-versations’ based on interviews with key staff on more in-depth evaluation-related topics.
This project paralleled the Training of Trainers for IED, supporting the design and delivery of an online training course for staff who will be delivering long-term internal training.
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Visit ADB's website to find out more about them.
Just back from a buzzing, interactive workshop on ‘Evaluation Design and Approaches’ with WFP staff in Bangkok!
The World Food Programme’s (WFP) current results framework directly supports two Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 2 Zero Hunger and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals. WFP currently operates in partner countries through 5-year Country Strategic Plans (CSPs). With recent decentralisation in WFP, WFP country offices are now responsible for managing Decentralised Evaluations half way through the implementation of their Country Strategic Plans. This means Monitoring and Evaluation officers in country offices need a new, diverse set of skills and competencies, which WFP HQ supports with online training and a 1-week face-to-face training for M&E officers, focusing on commissioning and managing evaluations.
The WFP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific contacted us to specifically provide technical training on Theory of Change and Evaluation Approaches, as part of their Regional Evaluation Strategy (2018-2021).
The aim of our 4-day workshop was to support WFP M&E officers from the Asia and Pacific region to enhance their technical knowledge and skills for managing evaluations, as well as explore how to foster the uptake of evaluation findings to improve WFP’s programmes.
M&E officers from 10 countries in the region, together with M&E officers from the regional bureau gathered to share evaluation experiences and learn about evaluation methodologies. We spent a whole day developing programme-specific theories of change (as an evaluative exercise to reconstruct programme logic). This is a critical exercise when trying to assess an intervention’s contribution to change. We explored the meaning of evaluative thinking and discussed the need for M&E staff and programming staff to better integrate their work. We practised developing evaluation questions and critiqued a current evaluation matrix. We covered a range experimental and quasi experimental approaches to assess impact, and explored other evaluation approaches which focus on stakeholders perceptions of change. As a mantra, we continued reflecting on the key questions of: “Why do we evaluate?” and “Who are evaluations for?” to really understand the purpose of an evaluative exercise, and the direct link with a learning culture, where demand for evaluation findings and evidence can fuel improved knowledge sharing practice.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created in 1997 to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and recently, following on from the experience of two ima tailor-made trainings on Results Based Management, OPCW hired IMA International in a consultancy to support the development of a Results Based Management (RBM) system.
The origins of RBM came with a realization that a move to outcomes could only be fully achieved where organizational support functions were all aligned with, and supportive of, the operational core. RBM is now seen as a question of shifting organizational culture. An RBM approach is made up of an M&E plan, an M&E system and an enabling results structure and culture. To begin this process at OPCW materials such as branch logic models, developed by IMA during the earlier trainings, were used as a starting point to build an understanding of stakeholder involvement, and of the historical development and current status of RBM in OPCW. This began the process of fully fledged Logical Framework development, for an RBM system. Interviews with key staff members helped to understand the complex realities of implementing a system in a large organisation.
When a disaster strikes, the emergency response addresses immediate basic needs. Longer term assessments then pave the way for reconstruction. Often, in this longer term process, the real needs of fisherfolk and fishing communities are not met or respected. In fact, they can actually be undermined through the well-meaning, yet unsuitable, provision of vessels, fishing gear and landing sites and infrastructure.
FAO’s ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture Response to Emergency’ (FARE) training package course addresses this very issue. FARE is a tailored effort to specifically bring together fisheries officers and disaster risk reduction specialists to ensure the fisheries’ perspective in embedded and included in longer term response.
This training package was originally developed by FAO (Food & Agriculture Organisation) and piloted in 2015. We have been working with FAO Fisheries department in Rome since late 2017, supporting the revision and improvement of the FARE training course and associated Training of Trainers. This important and interesting work directly links to our support to sustainable development goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 14 (Life below Water).
Under the FAO CC4Fish project, the revised FARE course was recently piloted in Grenada in the Caribbean. Chris and Silvia worked with trainers from the University of West Indies and the Grenada Red Cross to facilitate the 3-day FARE course and the associated FARE Training of Trainers. The project enabled fisheries officers and disaster risk reduction specialists from 6 countries to work together, share experiences and perspectives, and understand how to best implement best practice outlined in two key FAO publications Fisheries and aquaculture emergency response guidance? and Guidelines for the fisheries and aquaculture sector on damage and needs assessments in emergencies .
The aim was to foster a cohort of regional FARE trainers able to deliver the FARE course nationally and in the region, and who can support the assessment and planned response to any emergency affecting the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Caribbean.
Our innovative, hands-on continuous mini-session practice during the Training of Trainers allowed participants to practice presentation and facilitation skills using the very FARE materials they had been introduced to in the previous 3 day FARE course. Not only did they become familiar with content and methods, but they also worked in their country teams to develop country strategies for taking FARE forward in their countries and in the region.
We look forward to supporting FAO in 2019 in taking this important FARE training package to other regions affected by disasters.
Claricia Langley Stevens
Our role at IMA has been to work with the University of Strathclyde and FAO’s Legal Office and fisheries specialists to develop a training course to support a step-wise guide for the implementation of international legal and policy instruments related to deep sea fisheries and biodiversity conservation in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) are those areas of ocean and sea bed for which no one nation has sole responsibility for management. In all, these make up 40 percent of the surface of our planet, comprising 64 percent of the surface of the oceans and nearly 95 percent of its volume.
Urgent action is needed to improve management of many ABNJ fisheries and strengthen protection of related ecosystems. In this way, we can prevent adverse impacts on marine biodiversity, and promote the socio-economic well-being and food security for millions of people directly dependent on those fisheries.
So it is important and interesting work and directly links to our support to sustainable development goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 14 (Life below Water).
Participants came from countries representing the South Pacific, Indian and South East Atlantic Oceans, namely; Comoros, Cook Islands, Seychelles, Namibia, Thailand and Mauritius. The participants were Government officials in the roles of: fisheries officer, scientific officer, control inspector, policy and planning, enforcement, legal officer.
At the end of the training all mentioned that they will be able to better support the drafting and implementation of laws that apply to the management of deep sea fisheries and the protection of associated ecosystems.
To find out more about our consultancy, please click here and for more information about open courses check our calendar for 2019.
The Italian NGO ACRA works in different countries, directly implementing projects and working through partners.
Recently, staff at HQ articulated the need to harmonise their understanding of M&E concepts and tools. Leigh and Silvia facilitated a workshop for ACRA in Milan, allowing project and support staff to develop their own understanding of what M&E means to ACRA.
We worked on theories of change for a couple of projects and critically, spent time looking at how to develop and strengthen the relationship between projects and the wider, organizational learning environment, ensuring engagement and accountability.