Monitoring for Adaptive Management III: Building adaptive management capacity – Exploring useful monitoring tools
January 28 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
BCCIC CAPACITY-DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP SERIES: Monitoring for Adaptive Management – 3 Part Series
The training is for those who are new to adaptive management and have a limited experience with monitoring programming, however participants should be familiar with the use of basic logframes and theory of change concepts.
The training will be geared towards Small and Medium-sized Organizations, but is open to all BCCIC individual, affiliate or organizational members. There is a maximum of 20 registrants, and preference will be given to those who can attend all three sessions. Please see more about the format of this series below.
Monitoring is an often neglected and undervalued process in program implementation. However, it is critical for improving programming and for adapting to changes throughout a project cycle. We often design long-term programmes with envisioned results, and we make many (sometimes untested) assumptions about how to ‘get there’. In reality, we know this process isn’t linear and much messier. By monitoring often, we can test assumptions and course correct if need be. Monitoring also makes investing human and financial resources for the sake of project or programme assessment more efficient. Not to mention it’s an effective way to have stories of impact and change readily available to raise awareness of your work, to report to funders, or to engage new contributors.
This training will focus on monitoring as a means to improve tracking and understanding of results and change (i.e. not just activities and outputs). It will cover both program and context indicators and present a few tools for monitoring change as a means to inform ongoing learning, improvement, and adaptation. It will be facilitated by Alix Wadeson, an independent consultant based in Vancouver with 12 years of experience in international development, peacebuilding and humanitarian work.
This training is especially relevant in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic. For organizations that have had to slow down their international programming, this would be a good moment to invest in learning, capacity-development, and for setting up or enhancing foundational monitoring systems. For organizations that have had an increase or shift in their international programming, this training will provide tools and templates for how to monitor at a distance and work with local partners on developing capacity to monitor for results and change.
Advantages of Monitoring for Adaptive Management
Advantages to partner communities and the fostering of ethical relationships
Good monitoring and adaptive management includes regular consultation and feedback loops. This not only helps to improve quality of programming,, but also fosters deeper trust and meaningful two-way partnerships, ultimately improving the accountability to the communities we serve.
Advantages to overall project objectives and outcomes
By systematically monitoring changes in the program and context beyond inputs and activities, we can assess programmes in real-time and can identify intended and unintended results. We also gain deeper insight into the wider systems that our programming is a part of and how it might interact with ever-evolving economic, social and political conditions and acute shocks such as conflict and climate events. This is important for responsible development actors (e.g. ‘do no harm’) and for adjusting to meet stated objectives.
Advantages to the organization conducting the monitoring
When an organization invests in monitoring and embeds adaptive management into its culture, it is able to deliver programming based on evidence and learning. Agility is crucial for addressing complex social and development problems, especially in rapidly evolving contexts locally and globally, as we can now see with COVID-19. By increasing this capacity, organizations can also showcase their results and evidence more easily to donors, peers, and the public, adding to their success and credibility.
The training is delivered as a series with an ongoing assignment and interlinked content (not standalone sessions). Therefore, participants will be asked to do some light preparation reading before each session, and work on their exercises between Sessions 1 (October 27) and 2 (November 24) as well as between Sessions 2 (November 24) and 3 (January 27).
It would be important for members to plan to participate in all three sessions. The model is designed to reinforce concepts for learning and to build practical skills and experience with the subject matter to increase potential for sustainability and retention.
The facilitator will also be available to answer questions from participants between the sessions about the content.
There will be a maximum of 20 registrants. Preference will be given to those who can attend all three sessions.
Session 1 – Tuesday October 27 – Adaptive Management
Session 2 – Tuesday November 24 – Outcome Harvesting
Session 3 – Wednesday January 28 – Other Monitoring Tools
“Adaptive Management is an intentional approach to making decisions and adjustments in response to new information and changes in context. Adaptive management is not about changing goals during implementation, it is about changing the path being used to achieve the goals in response to changes.” (USAID Learning Lab, 2018). See here for a blog post the presenter authored on Adaptive Management
About the Presenter – Alix Wadeson:
Alix is an independent consultant based in Vancouver with 12 years of experience in international development, peacebuilding and humanitarian work. Alix works to support civil society clients through program design, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, learning, training and coaching.
Alix has led and supported several monitoring and evaluation (M&E) assignments, with a focus on adaptive management and theory-based impact evaluation methods such as Most Significant Change, Outcome Harvesting and Process Tracing. Past clients and collaborating organizations include: CARE International (various members and country offices), Action Against Hunger, Oxfam (Canada, Quebec and America), Justice Education Society, Umoja, HOPE International, Right to Play, Tree Aid, Mennonite Economic Development Associates, Lutheran World International, Danmission, Action Aid, and Helpage International, amongst others.
Alix serves on the board of directors as Vice Chair for BCCIC member Umoja Operation Compassion Society. Umoja is a grassroots organization that supports newcomers to Surrey to transition successfully to life in Canada, and also operates community development programs in Uganda. She also sits on a professional evaluation body of the Canadian Red Cross, supporting the organization with technical M&E advisory support and services. Alix is familiar with the M&E requirements of a range of donors, including Global Affairs Canada.
Alix has a BA from the University of British Columbia and an MPA from the University of York in the UK. She focused her policy thesis on Climate Change governance, winning the award for outstanding achievement in her program cohort.
What: CAPACITY-DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP SERIES: Monitoring for Adaptive Management – 3 Part Series
Wednesday January 28
From 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Cost: Free for BCCIC members, $30 for non-members.