Supporting Coordination & Change Project PillarsAdaptive Management, Innovation Research (and the role of Outcome Logic Models in both)<br />Boru Douthwaite<br />Innovation and Impact Director, <br />Challenge Program on Water and Food<br />Basin Leader Meeting<br />Vientiane, Laos, 19th January 2011<br />
Adaptive management is understood as the ability of BDC research to learn from experience and to evolve; to adapt to the environment it finds itself in and to get better. Adaptive management involves early identification of opportunities, threats and unexpected consequences together with taking appropriate action, including the redrafting of research agendas, and the proper documentation of this learning. The Project is responsible for putting in place a framework and incentive structure that will allow this cumulative learning and change to take place. <br />Adaptive Mmgt – what is expected<br />
Specifically, the Coordination Project is responsible for:<br /><ul><li>Using data, evidence and analysis to query and reflect on the logic and assumptions underpinning BDC and project outcome and impact pathways, and to re-direct and re-design research issues in coordination with other projects, leading to more appropriate pathways with more probability of success
Innovation Research – what is expected<br />To be successful at fostering innovation, BDC staff needs to understand how research does and does not trigger innovation processes. Hence research to understand change processes (innovation research) is carried out in the BDC [i.e., by the C&C Project] to guide action both inside and outside the CPWF. Innovation research is carried out in two main areas – internal to the BDC, and external. <br /> <br />
Continued<br />1. Internal -- The BDC and its projects are experiments into putting research into use. Outcome and impact pathways provide hypotheses that are tested as part of project and BDC monitoring. The Project coaches other BDC projects on monitoring, and analyzes the data gathered to extract useful principles.<br />2. External – Much can be learned from on-going, successful and unsuccessful innovation processes. For example, Project 1 on targeting and scaling-out, seeks to determine which agricultural water interventions work where, and why. Answering this question involves understanding where existing technologies have worked and failed, i.e., research into what drives and constrains innovation.<br />
Continued<br />The role of this C&C Project is to lead the first area and coordinate the second so that the BDC answers the following research questions (an indicative not exhaustive list):<br /><ul><li>What mechanisms does research trigger, in which contexts, in efforts to transform research into developmental outcomes?
How far does a trans-disciplinary, integrated approach contribute to development outcomes?
When and where does networking, in the form of engagement in multi-stakeholder platforms and other modalities, work to link research to generation of outcomes?</li></li></ul><li>OLMs and M&E<br />OLMs contain the project outcome pathways<br />Outcome pathways are causality chains that are tested by during project implementation, with the data coming from monitoring and elsewhere<br />Reflection, based on comparing what was expected against what is happening, the is basis of adaptive management<br />Comparing across experience BDC projects’ experience of setting up and adjusting outcome pathways – of trying to put research into use – can yield insight, and doing it is internal innovation research<br />