Learning is central to JOA’s approach and evidencing the success of our projects is core to our work. As part of the selection process for JOA’s development projects, each proposal must be accompanied by a logical framework that outlines the key areas of change the project is intending to have and the indicators by which this change will be measured, as well as the frequency of measurement and means of verification. These logical frameworks are interrogated as part of the assessment process, with JOA staff feeding into the final design of each logical framework, once a project has been approved.
Each logical framework is unique to the intended project, with the type and number of indicators varying according to the nature and the size of the project. Multi-year projects – with a value of over £1m – often have over 20 change-orientated indicators in order to track success, as well as activity-level indicators to measure whether or not implementation is on track. For a project designed to enhance the wellbeing and resilience of low-income households living on the fringes of – and reliant on – a deteriorating marshland or forest, measurements might include:
- “% of participating households reporting reduction in negative coping mechanisms including the use of resources from conserved areas”
- “% change of targeted households engaged in sustainable off farm businesses”; and
- “% change in the number of targeted people with an acceptable Food Consumption Score during the ‘lean’ months, when hunger is most prevalent.
Dedicated in-country project staff are responsible for regularly monitoring JOA-funded projects, through approaches such as household surveys, business performance records, and national data. Details of project progress – as well as ongoing project results – are then provided to JOA bi-annually, which are subsequently reviewed as a part of JOA oversight. In addition, JOA’s Monitoring & Impact unit conducts in-country monitoring visits of JOA’s multi-year development projects, to review activities and assess the effectiveness and efficiency of each project. These visits take place mid-way into a project and involve a one-day office assessment of the partner organisation followed by several days engaging with project stakeholders.
Once a multi-year development project ends, an independent evaluation is commissioned to assess the extent to which the project was relevant, effective, coherent, efficient, impactful, and likely to be sustainable. The evaluation also provides the opportunity for learnings to be collated and shared, contributing to wider knowledge and understanding of how best to address key challenges and contribute toward change in such contexts.