As part of the continued monitoring and evaluation of the knowledge sharing activities and strategies being piloted in the 6 CGIAR research projects for the Knowledge Sharing in Research project, I (Nadia Manning-Thomas, KSinR project Leader) have been visiting with the IWMI WASPA LA KSinR Pilot Project, based in Sri Lanka. In previous blog posts recently the project as a whole has been outlined, the use of the Learning Alliance approach highlighted and the recently held monitoring visit to the Bangladesh site described.
On this monitoring visit, I have been talking to the researchers involved in the project and Learning Alliance, the NGO- COSI- which is a big local partner working on the project for Sri Lanka, and a number of key stakeholders and beneficiaries of the project in Kurunegala- the WASPA Sri Lanka project site.
The main objectives of the KSinR project are to generate, share and support application of knowledge sharing principles, frameworks and approaches in research projects, programs and initiatives for the CGIAR.
The knowledge generation component is particularly key, and is being undertaken through three main pillars:
- Supporting and learning from the piloting of KS within 6 pilot projects in the CGIAR
- Exploring and learning from other KSinR-type initiatives ongoing within the CGIAR
- Reviewing literature and other key materials on and related to knowledge sharing in research, even from beyond the CGIAR
Therefore, as part of learning from the Pilot Projects the monitoring and evaluation of their piloting activities is necessary to help capture knowledge and experiences, derive lessons, and enhance our overall understanding of the process and impact of using KS in research.
The M&E plan being used builds on the Impact Pathways methodology which was used in the inception workshop for more refined and detailed planning of the projects with a focus on how to achieve impact from their work.
The M&E framework designed and used in the KSinR project includes:
- Review of planned project activities-looking at the activities planned, description of them, success and challenges of carrying out the activities
- Review of the outputs-considering whether the outputs planned have been achieved and how are they being used
- Revisiting of the Vision- exploring how various groups are acting differently and what is being done, enjoyed or achieved because of the project
- Review of changes in actors involved with the project (or targeted by the project)- namely indicating whether the changes in practice, knowledge, attitude and skills that were foreseen or desired by the project have in fact happened
- Evaluation of the strategy (KS approach) used to bring about changes and impact- describing how the strategy was employed, what change it contributed to, what worked and didn’t, and the perceptions of the strategy by various stakeholders
While the M&E plan is being used throughout the project period, the current M&E work being documented and shared is part of a more focused mid-project review being done with all the pilots through reporting, virtual discussions and face-to-face visits.
The results of talks, discussions, M&E questions, and observations with the various groups named above will be presented in the next set of blog posts–so stay tuned!!