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?

Scaling Up—From Vision to Large‐Scale Change: A Management Framework for Practitioners

This document is intended to be a companion document to the Scaling Up TOOLKIT. With support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Packard Foundation, both documents were developed, applied, and refined over a nine year period with twenty‐two projects in India, Mexico, and Nigeria. An earlier version of this document was published in March of 2006.

Resource Type: 
Report

Evaluating Youth Economic Opportunities Programming - Lessons Learned and Actionable Guidance

This technical brief on how to effectively evaluate youth economic opportunities programming has been developed by Making Cents International’s Collaborative Learning & Action Institute for Increased Youth Economic Opportunities (CoLab) and forms part of our 2014 State of the Field in Youth Economic Opportunities Technical Brief Series.

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

View this PowerPoint presented by Karen Austrian, Associate from Population Council at Making Cents International's ApplyIt! Webinar "Beyond Disaggregated Indicators: Applying Gender-Sensitive Monitoring and Evaluation to Enhance Learning" on practical examples of how gender-sensitive M&E can be done and what difference it makes for youth development programs.

Resource Type: 
Presentation