Civil society partnerships

Evaluation

Measurement of the longer-term impact of a programme (goal) and the achievements of its objectives is evaluation, which is carried out at the end or after the end of a programme cycle. For projects of a very long duration (i.e., over many years) it is common to conduct a mid-term evaluation for accountability and to verify that the process is proceeding as planned.

The project will be evaluated by looking at, for example, the attitudes and behaviours at that point in time compared to those documented in the baseline. It is then that the overall outcome of the implementation strategy can be determined. Have attitudes and behaviours changed? Have attitudes changed but not behaviours?

By integrating partner relationships, capacity-building and interventions in the programme framework, it is possible to measure aspects of partnership that relate directly to programming. Beyond looking at the changes in partners’ knowledge and attitudes about the child rights issues inherent in the programme (outputs) and their actions in implementing the activities effectively (outcomes), an evaluation would seek to verify that their involvement actually contributed to the measurable impacts of the programme. This is not always straightforward, but with good data documented in the design phase of the programme, and rigorous monitoring and evaluation, trends will be much easier to detect and analyse.

Returning to the example of a corporal punishment programme, monitoring has been conducted on a regular basis. At the end of the programme, the initial baseline data collected should be reviewed in light of the indicators for the objectives and the goal of the programme. Questions asked could, for example, include:

  • Was there accurate dissemination of information on the negative effects of corporal punishment? 
  • Were there demonstrations of positive child protection actions and behaviours?
  • What were concrete outcomes of community discussions facilitated by religious leaders?
  • Were agreed upon actions followed up on and implemented?

A thorough evaluation would seek to again collect the information sought in the baseline (assuming it is still deemed to be relevant), examine it in light of the baseline and then analyse those results along with the most significant findings of the monitoring process.

Finally, there are the organizational aspects of partnership that are outside of direct programming, though influencing it. Partnerships themselves have their own processes and outcomes. The governance aspects of partnerships are worth monitoring and evaluating in order to understand the dynamics that may strengthen or weaken them. Measurement would generally focus on values, capacity, communication and process. Some general indicators of good governance principles are:

  • Legitimacy: the extent of effective participation by relevant stakeholders in major governance and management decisions.
  • Accountability: the extent to which accountability is defined, accepted and exercised along the chain of command.
  • Responsibility: the extent to which the programme accepts and exercises responsibility to stakeholders who are not directly involved in governance. 
  • Fairness (equity): the extent to which partners and participants, similarly situated, have equal opportunity to influence the programme and to receive benefits from it.
  • Transparency: the extent to which a programme’s decision-making, reporting and evaluation processes are open and freely available to the general public.
  • Efficiency: the extent to which the programme has converted or is expected to convert its resources/inputs (such as funds, expertise, time, etc.) economically into results in order to achieve the maximum possible outputs, outcomes and impacts.
  • Probity: the extent to which all persons in leadership positions adhere to high standards of ethics and professional conduct over and above compliance with the rules and regulations governing the operation of the programme.

 

 

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