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The Methods Lab: improving practice for impact evaluation in DFAT

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The Methods Lab seeks to develop, test and institutionalise flexible approaches to impact evaluation. It focuses on interventions which are harder to evaluate because of their diversity and complexity, or where traditional impact evaluation approaches may not be feasible.

The Methods Lab is an action learning collaboration between the ODI, BetterEvaluation and the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. We aim to identify lessons and tools from current programmes, with wider application potential.

To date, we have worked with the following development programmes: Indonesia, Poverty Reduction Support Facility (PRSF); Pacific, portfolio of infrastructure investments (with NZMFAT); Nepal, Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP); Afghanistan, Australia-Afghanistan Community Resilience Scheme (AACRS); and Australian Mekong NGO Platform (AMNEP).

In addition, we are learning about the application of different evaluation approaches through embedded work with, among others: Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE); Youth Forward Learning Partnership; and Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI).

The Methods Lab evaluation toolkit brings together our analysis, guidance and templates.

For more information contact Tiina Pasanen.

Staff

Anne Buffardi, Irene Guijt, Simon Hearn, Tiina Pasanen, Greet Peersman, Patricia Rogers

Supported by

Partners

  1. Guidance on tasks and deliverables for different evaluation phases

    Toolkit/guidelines

  2. When theory meets reality: assumptions, feasibility and implications of a complexity-informed approach

    Working papers

  3. Impact evaluation for portfolio programmes on policy influence

    Working papers

  4. The Methods Lab evaluation toolkit

    Toolkit/guidelines

  5. Evaluating the impact of flexible development interventions

    Research reports

  6. When and how to develop an impact-oriented monitoring and evaluation system

    Working papers

  7. What is impact?

    Working papers

  8. How to design a monitoring and evaluation framework for a policy research project

    Working papers

  9. Multi-project programmes: functions, forms and implications for evaluation and learning

    Working papers

  10. Sample interview questions for evaluability assessment

    Toolkit/guidelines

  11. Sample agendas for an evaluability assessment stakeholder workshop

    Toolkit/guidelines

  12. Report templates for evaluability assessment

    Toolkit/guidelines

  13. Report template for an impact-oriented monitoring and evaluation system

    Toolkit/guidelines

  14. Guiding questions to help narrow the scope of an evaluation

    Toolkit/guidelines

  15. Sample criteria to select case studies for impact evaluation

    Toolkit/guidelines

  16. Template concept note for an impact evaluation

    Toolkit/guidelines

  17. Addressing gender in impact evaluation: what should be considered?

    Working papers

  18. Evaluability assessment for impact evaluation: guidance, checklists and decision support

    Toolkit/guidelines