At the core of all our services, monitoring and evaluation is a habit. We practice regular monitoring in our day-to-day operations and are the strictest of evaluators of our own work.
A well-defined, proactive M&E system is also an effective planning and decision-making tool. Without such mechanisms in place, mere assumptions form the basis for course correction and future planning. In fact, planning and monitoring are so entwined that it usually becomes difficult to determine where one leaves off and the other begins. M&E is also a crucial step in knowledge management, benchmarking and the identification of next steps particularly in the case of socio-economic development initiatives. Using our extensive experience of this practice in the development/non-profit sector, we have also developed similar frameworks for the commercial sector based on our lessons learned and best practices.
- Review, analysis and guidelines for aid effectiveness and results-based management
- Logical Framework Approach
- M&E framework development
- Baseline assessments
- Impact evaluations
- Process monitoring
- Progress, performance, input, output and outcome monitoring and reporting
- Development, results and performance indicators
- Periodic project evaluations
- Internal and external M&E
- Return on Investment (ROI), Social Return on Investment (SROI), Cost-Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness analysis
- Rapid appraisals
- Desk-based reviews and evaluations
- Participatory rural appraisals
- Beneficiary assessments
- Participatory monitoring and evaluation frameworks
- Risk mitigation and management frameworks
- Development risk analysis and assumption mapping
Mapping social impact, assessing contribution and Sense-Making
Malana Research Consult applies and adapts a combination of sound and proven utility-focused evaluation methods that are geared towards learning from social impact and fit the complexity of social change. We offer to demonstrate how the pathway of change towards impact unfolds in reality and what the significance of your intervention (project, programme or policy) has been in this.
Finding these contribution linkages is challenging and can often be disputed. Malana Research Consult therefore adds a third methodological step of joint Sense-Making. We believe that the participation of key stakeholders in a clear and transparent process that includes joint Sense-Making on how pathways of change unfold can provide satisfactory answers to any disputes that may arise.
This method is specifically applied to analysing evaluation findings from different perspectives and to help deepen understanding and internalise learning from the evaluation. When empowered with clarity and agreement on the process and a set of tools fitting the nature of the intervention, compelling evidence can be found to confirm or refute the hypothetical link between tangible deliverables and desired long-term results.
We can work with you to translate the evaluation findings into actionable measures that will empower you to make an even greater effort towards social impact.
MRC and Theory of Change
How can we carve a realistic path to long-term change in a complex environment? Theory of Change is a comprehensive methodology used for planning, monitoring and evaluation purposes. It helps to map the ideas and hypotheses or assumptions that an organisation holds about how change happens in a particular context. Acknowledging the complexity of social change, the methodology enables organisations to clarify the change process and – in many cases – identify interventions leading to change.
In contrast to the logframe and other explanatory models, Theory of Change starts with the overall vision of success (or long-term goals) and works backwards to the necessary conditions in place to produce these goals. A thorough Theory of Change unravels and seeks evidence of all assumptions underlying these conditions. This method allows defining a sequence or pathway of interlinked events. This offers an excellent basis to define the best interventions (found from the perspective of the organisation, within the “sphere of control” in the Theory of Change) and identify feasible outcomes (within the “sphere of influence”) as well as long-term changes (within the “sphere of interest”). Accordingly, the Theory of Change evolves into a Results Framework. For monitoring and evaluation purposes, indicators can be developed for each step of the change process. A compact visual captures the Theory of Change and/or Results Framework obtained. This may be further refined and adjusted as the implementation proceeds, thus fitting into a cyclical learning model.
Theory of Change is systematic and comprehensive in three main respects:
- Time horizon: the causal chain from interventions to long-term goals is substantiated.
- Ideas: basic assumptions underlying each step of a programme are made explicit.
- People: all relevant stakeholders give their perspectives on the desired change and reach a broad agreement on the underlying assumptions, conditions and concrete ways to create change.
How does MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT work with Theory of Change?
MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT has a solid track record in assisting organisations with the design and review of their Theory of Change in the various phases of programme development, including the baseline study, monitoring activities, mid-term and/or final evaluation.
Putting stakeholders at the core of the process, MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT preferably gathers the key stakeholders to jointly develop a Theory of Change. In the pragmatic and collaborative approach, characteristic for its work, MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT helps stakeholders to identify an overall vision, usually within a time horizon of 5-10 years, down to concrete interventions and specific outcomes. In this process, it becomes clear to all parties involved what change is necessary and by whom. Malana Research Consult’s experience has shown that the dialogue and exchange between the partners/stakeholders are indeed essential to create not only a shared understanding but also a shared commitment to the project, thus enhancing ownership and transformative change.
If a Theory of Change is already available – as is often the case in comprehensive programmes – MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT further elaborates a generic and specific – for instance, country-based – form, which it submits for feedback and discussion from the stakeholders. The revised Theory of Change serves as a basis for programme strategy, monitoring and evaluation purposes. MALANA RESEARCH CONSULT regularly combines Theory of Change with Outcome Mapping, which allows designing an actor-based pathway of change.
Steps in Monitoring and Evaluation
- CONDUCT PROJECT MONITORING
Remotely gather regular data on Key Performance Indicators, last mile delivery of goods, access to services, developmental status and more
- EVALUATE IMPACT
Assess the long term impact and reach of programs, track community perception and behavior change, gather community feedback on effectiveness
- MAKE DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS
Train organizations and individuals to effectively analyze and utilize real-time data to inform adaptive programming
- ENHANCE IMPACT EVALUATIONS
Malana Research data provides concrete data around the effect of interventions during or after the project lifetime