The LINC team is looking forward to participating in the 32nd annual American Evaluation Association conference, October 29th-November 3rd in Cleveland Ohio. The AEA conference brings together members of the evaluation community from around the world to celebrate, share, and learn from the successes of the international discipline and practice of evaluation. The theme of Evaluation 2018 is “Speaking Truth to Power.” LINC will be presenting at three sessions over the course of the conference:
Breaking News: We Can’t Control Everything! – Using Systems Thinking to Understand Context in Development Projects
Session #2325 | Friday, Nov 02 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM | Hilton – Veterans Meeting Room C
Most evaluations and literature that assess success factors in development focus on project management related factors – things we can control, like how interventions are designed and implemented. Although we realize intuitively that projects and programs take place in a complex, dynamic environment, we struggle to incorporate context into design, monitoring, and evaluation. In this session, presenters, including LINC Managing Director Patrick Sommerville, will examine what a context-based approach to evaluation might look like using systems thinking tools. We will examine context attributes that should be taken into consideration and systems tools that can be used to understand complex environments, as well as case studies that put these concepts into practice.
WASH and Learn: Using Systems Thinking to Improve the Sustainability of WASH Service Provision
Session #2610 | Friday, Nov 02, 11:30 AM – 12:15 PM | Hilton – Superior Ballroom C
This session brings together five consortium partners from the USAID-funded Sustainable Wash Systems (SWS) project for a discussion of the utility of systems thinking and the application of Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) for promoting and measuring sustainability in the WASH sector. Consortium partners, including LINC Managing Director Rich Fromer and Program Associate Megan McDermott, will discuss preliminary results from two ONAs, focusing on how members of each WASH network currently interact with each other, the implications of this information on improving local network sustainability, and a comparison of results between two cases to understand the broader application of and implications for using Network Analysis to evaluate and improve network coordination in a variety of WASH contexts.
Learning to Listen: Improving Understanding Between Donors and Aid Recipients
Session #2515 | Saturday, Nov 03, 11:15 AM – 12:00 PM | Hilton – Center St. Meeting Room C
This roundtable discussion will address the best way to capture and analyze qualitative information from a broad inquiry conducted by non-researchers. As a component of the USAID Local Systems Practice (LSP) activity, LINC Program Director Jenna White spent 3 months working with USAID/Philippines on a “Broad Listening Tour” of the country to better understand the development needs of local communities. In contrast to more formal survey methods like interviews or polling, “Broad Listening” seeks to engage populations of interest in more natural conversations to elicit insights around the most prominent issues, priorities, and local resources available for better targeted and more responsive programming. Presenters will discuss the methods and strategies used during this tour and the implications and possibilities for more effective inquiries and collaboration between donors and recipient communities.