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.
By Matthew French from JBS International, Inc., 2014
My name is Matthew French and I work for JBS International, Inc. This blog draws upon research conducted under contract with USAID’s office of Education (read the full youth engagement report here), as well as my own experiences working with young people.
By Karen Austrian from Population Council, Jul 30, 2014 04:57pm
By The MasterCard Foundation, Jul 23, 2014
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:
By Tanaya Kilara, Barbara Magnoni from CGAP, Jul 21, 2014
This blog was originally posted on CGAP.org on July 21, 2014.
By CGAP, Jul 23, 2014
With almost half the world's population today under the age of 25, youth finance represents a largely untapped business opportunity. Despite this potential, there are surprisingly few examples of providing youth savings in a profitable manner. Few financial service providers, especially in developing countries with large young populations, target youth specifically as a segment.
By Tanaya Kilara, Barbara Magnoni, Emily Zimmerman from CGAP, Jul 23, 2014 03:19pm
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.
By Ewa Korczyc, Matija Laco, and Theo Thomas (team lead), with inputs from: Sanja Madzarevic-Sujster, Suzana Petrovic, Stella Ilieva, Catalin Pauna, Paulina Hołda, Emilia Skrok, Christian Bodewig and Indhira Santos. from The World Bank, Jul 23, 2014 02:56pm
This Regular Economic Report (RER) is a semiannual publication of the Europe and Central Asia Region, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department (ECA PREM), The World Bank. It covers economic developments, prospects, and policies in 11 European Union (EU) member states that joined after 2004 (excluding Cyprus and Malta) — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (North); the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic, (Continental); and Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia (South). Throughout the RER, for simplicity, we refer to this group of eleven countries as the EU11.
By Matt Flannery from Kiva, 2009
This essay is a sequel to the case titled “Kiva and the Birth of Person-to-Person Microfinance,” published by the author in Innovations (Winter/Spring 2007). Started by the author, Jessica Jackley Flannery and Moses Onyango in 2005, Kiva is an online lending platform that allows individuals in the developed world to loan to small businesspeople in the developing world. Kiva operates in the microfinance space and works with a growing network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in more than 40 countries.
By Brookings Institute, Jul 2, 2014
By Brookings Institute, Jul 11, 2014 05:31pm
Over the past two decades there have been major improvements in girls’ education. In 1990, less than 50 percent of girls in low-income countries were enrolled in primary school; today that figure has climbed to nearly 80 percent. However, much work remains to be done. Thirty million girls still miss out on basic education, and the challenge for those that now attend school is that they learn while there. Indeed, 250 million children cannot read or write, even after many of them have spent four years in school.