Evaluation & Assessment

Overview

This cross-cutting theme focuses on improving the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of programs by sharing data on what works and what doesn’t, and methodologies for monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment.   Improved practices in this area promise to provide stakeholders with enhanced understanding of which interventions have meaningful impact, what the likely return on investment will be, and how to design and implement improved monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

Where are we now?

As the YEO field matures, pilot programs and anecdotal data have given way to increasingly sophisticated approaches to program measurement and learning. These advances are critical to scale, replication, policy and government partnership initiatives. However, more work remains. Confusion about the purpose and practice of monitoring, evaluation and assessment, and the way it can contribute to learning with an organization or program still exists.  A common language for this area along with standardized measures of cost and benefit are also necessary to ensure discussions are productive and evaluations reflect a common framework of practice.

Trends and emerging practices

  • Donors are advocating for more rigorous evaluation to ensure greater accountability and learning.
  • Although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard, they can be expensive and time consuming, leading some donors to find quasi-experimental and impact evaluations very appealing, while others invest more significantly in M&E activities.
  • For corporations and foundations, evaluations are important to measure the social value proposition and social impact of their investments to consumers, customers, and employees.
  • More implementers are recognizing the importance of investing in good M&E, so they can demonstrate to donors their organization's social value proposition, particularly to impact investors.
  • More organizations are successfully using mixed methods approaches (both quantitative and qualitative data) to M&E.
  • Survey and focus group tools should be tested and finalized with young people for tools to achieve greater reliability and validity.
  • Data from young people should be triangulated with data from significant adults in their lives (such as parents, guardians, and teachers) to contextualize its meaning and importance.
  • More organizations are recognizing that existing M&E staff may not have the skills set required to engage young people, so training on how to conduct youth-inclusive M&E is important. 
  • Young people are not homogeneous, so questions need to be framed differently for young men and young women, youth from urban and rural communities, and/or youth from different socio-economic groups.

 

Evaluation & Assessment: Blogs

Analyzing the Business Case for Youth Savings

This blog was originally posted on CGAP.org on July 21, 2014.

Workforce Connections Community of Practice: The Challenge of "Soft Skills" Measurement: Toward a Common Approach

This blog post includes downloadable presentation materials from the May 28, 2014 Workforce Connections Community of Practice launch event, The Challenge of "Soft Skills" Measurement: Toward a Common Approach.

Three Ways to Bridge the Employability Gap in the Developing World

Re-posted with permission from R4D:

What are the skills needed for employability in the 21st century economy? And what innovative models are needed to deliver these skills to students?

A Gender-Sensitive Approach to M&E - Webinar Resource

The following is a presentation from presenter Karen Austrian (Population Council) from Making Cents International's ApplyIt! Webinar on July 29, 2014.

Resource Type: 
Presentation

Change that Matters: Learning from our Partnerships

The MasterCard Foundation has been dedicated to learning as an organization since our first partnership in 2008.  It is in this spirit that we are proud to share Change that Matters: Learning from our Partnerships. Informed by evaluations, research and the expertise of our partners and staff, this report provides a narrative introduction to our work by summarizing key learning from our first six years as a philanthropic organization.

Some insights highlighted in the report include:

Resource Type: 
Report

The Business Case for Youth Savings: A Framework

This paper begins by offering a framework for understanding how different influences or “levers” affect costs and revenues and uses examples to explain how the framework can be applied as a decision-making tool. It then uses three brief case studies (Bank of Kathmandu [BoK] in Nepal, XacBank in Mongolia, and Sparkassen in Germany) to illustrate the many influences that determine a business case. Finally, it offers suggestions for practitioners and policy makers.

Resource Type: 
Report