Capturing Development /Marlen Arkesteijn: I have one specific queste: To explore what works in what circumstances. This is not only the thread in my profesionnal work itself, but in my approaches as well: For every organisation I make tailor-made approaches.
I have -besides delivering a range of regular products and services-, two distinct specialities:
• Design, monitoring and evaluation for social innovation and learning • Visual monitoring and evaluation
On top of that I advise and support organisations with:
• the development of a planning, monitoring and evaluation strategy; • the implementation of assessments and evaluations; • coaching and training in planning, monitoring and evaluatie; • facilitating learning trajectories, collaborative inquiries; • communication of change and results; • research and development of methods.
Whenever feasible I use visuals (videos and photographs) for reflection and sharing of lessons learned/results (see Visual M&E for more specific information).
Methods I use various methods since not all projects and programmes have the same needs: For more simple (aspects of) projects and programmes, I may use result based methods (many times based on a type of logical planning and design like Theory of change). For complicated and complex (parts of) programmes, where many stakeholders are involved with sometimes contradicting values and perspectives on what the problem is and how to solve it, I use methods like the Most Significant Change, Learning Histories, responsive evaluation etc. Whenever institutional and system changes are needed, or when practices need to change radically, I use reflexive methods (see for more info: Reflexive monitoring in action tinyurl.com/wurcispubs). And any mix of these, with more quantitative methods.
Steps for evaluations Although steps for evaluations may vary from client to client, I mainly use the following main sequence (0) Clarification of the evaluation purpose and questions/ ToR (1) Developing, reflecting and/or adjusting the theory of change, (2) data gathering either through discussions, interviews, collection of already existing data, (3) data analysis, (4) reflection on data and (5) presentation of findings. Depending on the type of programme, this approach is either done more collaboratively with all stakeholders or more led by me.
Clients: Mama Cash, BothENDS, Upact, Berenschot International Solutions, WWF The Netherlands, Wageningen University/Communication and Innovation Science, Wageningen University/Applied Plant Research (PPO), Wageningen University/Animal Science Group, Variya, Stimuland, IRC Water and Sanitation, Adessium Foundation, Pameijer Foundation.
Examples of assignments:
Development of planning, monitoring and evaluation (PME) strategy For the World Wildlife Fund, the Netherlands, I developed, together with the PME team, a vision on PME and a path for implementation. Before that I developed for SNV Netherlands Development Organisation an organisation-wide output and outcome mechanisms.
Implementation of assessments and evaluations This includes assessing project proposals, subsidy proposals, progress and results (formative and summative). For example : Evaluation of the WWF-NL Nature Conservation Strategy FY2011-2013; Trias Uganda: Evaluation of the CAEDP programme (2012-2013); I assessed programme proposals that applied for subsidies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (with Berenschot International), and did assessments of progress and results of projects using short videos for Natuurmonumenten and ElemenTree (with Adessium Foundation).
Coaching and training in planning, monitoring and evaluation Coaching and training of staff who are new to monitoring and evaluation, or who want to use methods (e.g. Most Significant Change, or the use of video) they have not used before. For example coaching the evaluator of Waardewerken (Wageningen University), and the evaluator of the Kulturhus-concept (Variya) in using the MSC method; writing of a guide for monitoring and evaluation of innovation projects in Agriculture (with PPO/Plant Research WUR) , supporting a network of stakeholders in monitoring progress of learning for innovation (with Farming with Future, WUR), and coaching the monitors of Urban Agriculture City Network on videomonitoring. Coaching the WUR project manager of the Interreg project Pure Hubs.
Facilitating learning trajectories: Coaching and facilitating of sector learning across 5 countries with the IRC Water and Saniation Sector Learning programme.
Communication of change in texts and images Showing to internal and external stakeholders what progress, results are of projects, programmes, etc. For example a video showing the impact of a new approach of an organisation on their end-users (Pameijer Foundation); writing an annual results report (SNV Netherlands Development Organisation).
Research and development of methods Conducting research to develop and test a new methodology, e.g. for innovation projects (reflexive monitoring in action, in collaboration with the Wageningen University and the Free University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands).