WHAT IS AN INSIGHT EVALUATION?
ICRP's Insight evaluations use the Insight approach to evaluate not the concrete effects of programs as an impact evaluation would, but the effectiveness of the process used to create those impacts. An Insight evaluation asks: "what does the process of a program do to the decision making of the people it serves that prompts effective development?"
WHAT WE DO
ICRP partners with development organizations to conduct Insight evaluations of what works in their programming to heal division and promote peace. Why is this important?
In the world of development, where both the lives of people in struggling communities as well as large amounts of donor money are at stake, it is critical that the programs development agencies undertake are strategically targeted to make the most sustainable impact on communities with the greatest return on investment. Understanding what it is about successful programs that makes them successful is key to sustainable impact and value.
Closely related to sustainable impact and value is the predictability and replicability of successful programming. Successful programming should be replicable and its results predictable. This is a challenge when we are dealing with people, whose meanings, motivations and decisions vary from person to person and from context to context. What experience has found is that replicating successful structures yields unpredictable results. Insight evaluation shifts the focus of replication from structures to the policies and procedures that create successful structures. This subtle distinction heightens the significance of context in development programming and will shed light on how programs can be both replicable and predictable.
Understanding the function of policies and procedures helps development agencies develop a clear idea of what they are doing when they are doing successful development. Thus, when a development agency runs into unforeseen challenges when working in communities – as one inevitably does – their officers will have a better understanding of how to creatively and constructively address those challenges if they understand what their policies and procedures do, and why.
“All of a sudden I realized that there might be certain things or needs within the community that without the inclusion of the community members and without talking to them I would probably spend years not being aware of.” -Khalida, Municipal Engineer, West Bank, on working with the PACE process
Insight Evaluation of Global Communities' (formerly CHF International) Participatory Action for Community Enhancement (PACE) programming, Palestinian West Bank
Excerpt from the report: "For a long time, staff and associates, participants and observers have remarked at the success of CHF programs. Impact assessments have measured the rate of built schools and paved roads, efficiency and cost effectiveness. But the real difference is that communities are getting insights into what it takes to work collaboratively in their communities to enhance community development. Together they are owning their projects, trusting them, using them. Communities are incorporating principles of participation into subsequent projects. They are shifting the way they work together to ensure for themselves the sustainability of their futures. The question of this evaluation asks how does that happen?"
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