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Development effectiveness and monitoring and evaluation (M&E)

We support innovation in development approaches, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). We draw on theories of change, complexity and systems thinking, as well as integrated analysis of economic, political, institutional, social and environmental dimensions. We have key expertise in aid effectiveness with respect to civil society voice and accountability, private sector participation, gender equality and governance and institutional development more broadly. We regularly conduct independent evaluations and reviews for bi-lateral, multi-lateral, and civil society agencies.

Key initiatives in this area:

Pacific Risk Resilience Programme Mid-Term Evaluation (2016)

Client: United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

The Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP) is a large-scale programme helping to build the national and regional risk governance enabling environment to improve the resilience of Pacific communities. ISF’s role is to conduct PRRP’s mid-term evaluation (MTE).

The objective of the MTE is to evaluate PRRP’s progress and to provide recommendations on future direction in the region for the remainder of the programme duration and beyond. The MTE will cover three main areas of work: Assessment of Progress; Design and future programming and Monitoring, and Evaluation and Learning.

Support for revising BORDA’s monitoring and evaluation cycle

Through a collaborative process, ISF and BORDA are reviewing the BORDA global monitoring framework, used to assess the performance of decentralised wastewater treatment systems built through BORDA’s international programs. A quality data cycle approach was applied to ensure that BORDA’s organisational resources and investments in data collection and analysis create the best value for all involved.

Engaging with BORDA regional and country staff and implementing partners, ISF developed a theory of change forming the basis of the revised monitoring framework.

Improving lives for women and girls through WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) programs in Vietnam

Client: Plan International
ISF is partnering with Plan International Australia to implement a research project examining the strategic gender outcomes of the Gender and WASH Monitoring Tool (GWMT).
The research will explore the extent to which the GWMT process is able to contribute to strategic gender outcomes and changed gender relations when used as part of regular WASH project monitoring activities.

Child Health Now Evaluation

Client: World Vision

ISF is working in Partnership with World Vision International to evaluate Child Health Now - its first global campaign.  

The Child Health Now campaign was launched in 2009 by World Vision to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children and their mothers by calling for change at local, national and global level, aligned with MDGs and other global policy commitments. 

The Evaluation is in two phases: to evaluate the campaign model and assess the campaign impact. 

Short-term monitoring and evaluation support to the Department of Women, Fiji

Client: DFAT

ISF supported the Department of Women in Fiji to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of their program activities. The Department sits under the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and implements a range of programs to increase gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Ethical principles and guidelines for development research and evaluation

Client: Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)

Ethical research principles and guidelines were developed by ISF researchers in partnership with ACFID to guide and support the conduct of ethical research and evaluation practice by the non-government sector in developing country contexts.

Working in decentralised service systems: challenges and choices for the Australian aid program

Client: Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

The ODE commissioned evaluation examined Australia’s support for service systems in decentralised contexts. The evaluation found Australian aid is beginning to respond to the challenges of supporting service delivery in decentralised contexts, but noted the results are mixed and there is room for improvement. The evaluation made four recommendations for improving country level analysis, program planning and design to better address decentralisation, and to strengthen DFAT’s capacity to effectively manage and monitor service delivery programs in decentralised contexts.

Working in decentralised service systems: challenges and choices for the Australian aid program

Working in decentralised service systems: short report on implications for aid managers

Addressing gender and equity in water safety planning

Client: World Health Organisation (WHO)

Collaborative research to assess and strengthen practice, outcomes and monitoring of Water Safety Plans in relation to gender equality and broader equity considerations.

gender equity discussions

Evaluation of Pacific Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning Program (PACCSAP)

Client: Australian Government – Department of the Environment

Independent evaluation of PACCSAP outcomes, an initiative of the Australian Government aimed at developing the capacity of Pacific Island Countries to manage future climate risk.

Exploring the link between child and youth participation and development effectiveness

Client: Child Fund

ISF is the university partner to three Australian NGOs (ANGOs – Transform Aid International, ChildFund Australia, and Live & Learn, respectively) and their in-country partner organisations.  The research is being carried out in Fiji, Laos and Nepal to investigate the link between child and youth participation and development effectiveness. The Research aims to strengthen policy and support for child and youth programming and improving program design. 

Mid term learning paper, March 2015 

Infrastructure development performance assessment and policy analysis

Client: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Services to develop robust performance measurement systems for economic infrastructure development and provide support in infrastructure policy and program analysis, monitoring and capacity building.

Development Futures program

Development Futures Conference: Alternative Pathways to End Poverty

ISF hosted the fourth ACFID University Netwok conference in partnership with ACFID. The conference focused on the development futures and innovative approaches to end poverty. A special issue of ANU Development Bulletin contains a selection of papers from the conference.

Evaluation of Child-Centred Climate Change Adaptation (4CA) in the Pacific

Client: Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI) and Plan International Australia
Independent evaluation of the first phase of Australian Aid funded “Child Centered Climate Change Adaptation (4CA)” program, involving engagement with children and communities in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati on linkages between climate change adaptation activities with broader advocacy and practice change in local communities and beyond.

school children in Pacific

Innovation in the Pacific: Strengths-based approaches and Participation and Accountability in the Solomon Islands

Client: Solomon Islands NGO Partnership Agreement (SINPA)

In collaboration with the AusAID funded SINPA partnership, ISF conducted research into strengths-based practice, participation and accountability to develop two learning papers.

'Exploring Processes for Participation and Accountability: A Learning Paper'

Exploring SINPA’s strengths-based practice: A Learning Paper’

Journal paper in Development Studies Research

Independent review of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (BESIK)

Client: Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Independent review of the major rural water supply and sanitation program in Timor-Leste, providing specialist expertise in gender equality and sustainability of WASH interventions. Download report

Besik consultation

Independent review of Indonesia World Bank Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (PAMSIMAS) and policy facility (WASPOLA)

Client: Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

ISF led the independent review of two Australian aid funded initiatives working to strategically, and at large-scale, address access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Download report

Working effectively with women and men in WASH

Australian Development Research Award

In partnership with the International Women’s Development Agency, Live & Learn Environmental Education Fiji and World Vision Vanuatu, ISF produced a set of guidance materials on how to incorporate gender into WASH initiatives, and to assist practitioners to understand what positive gender outcomes 'look like'. To access these materials go to www.genderinpacificwash.info

The Global Phosphorus Research Initiative

ISF is a co-founder of this collaborative research initiative aimed at facilitating quality interdisciplinary research on global phosphorus security for future food security. Learn more about this here: http://phosphorusfutures.net/

Independent evaluation of the Civil Society WASH Fund, 2009-2012

Client: AusAID

ISF led two independent reviews of this large-scale program funding civil society organisations in Asia, Pacific and Africa to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene in poor communities.

'Independent Progress Report of the Civil Society WASH Fund'

‘Independent Completion Report of the Civil Society WASH Fund'

Australian Aid Program water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) performance assessment framework and guidance

Client: AusAID

ISF developed a comprehensive yet pragmatic performance system to assist with monitoring, evaluation and management of all Australian aid funded WASH initiatives.

Australia Indonesia Partnership Climate Change and Environment Sector Strategy and Adaptation program design - methods of monitoring and evaluation in Indonesia

Client: AusAID

Drawing on theories of change ISF researchers developed innovative approaches to monitoring and evaluation for AusAID’s climate change and environment strategy and its climate change adaptation program in Indonesia.

Review of monitoring and evaluation systems for development effectiveness

Client: SKM

ISF reviewed the M&E frameworks, processes and reporting of SKM’s international development programs, across a range of sectors and countries, and recommend possible improvements in relation to national and international best practice.