Evaluation and communication mentoring for capacity development: a hybrid decision-making framework
Keywords:decision-making framework, mentoring, capacity development, utilization-focused evaluation, research communication, theory of change.
AbstractWe report on a decision-making framework that enables projects and programs to take ownership of their evaluation and communication plans. The framework is a blend of utilization-focused evaluation (UFE) and research communication supported by mentoring. This combination we have found has resulted in the development of a hybrid tool that also helps project teams clarify and update their Theories of Change. This result is significant as most of the partners have been information society research projects that are complex and dynamic. The approach has been delivered as a capacity development effort with attention to partner?s readiness to received mentoring. The partners have produced evaluation plans and research communication strategies that they own and utilize. This approach grew out of two IDRC-funded capacity development research projects (DECI-1 and 2) that provided mentoring in evaluation and communication for information society research teams globally, between 2009 and 2017. The mentoring progress was tracked through debriefing and process documentation with some use of checklists. Case studies were produced to summarize the process and outcomes. While the project began with a focus on evaluation and communication, the resulting hybrid framework has wider knowledge management potential by enhancing reflective learning throughout the evolution of a project.