Plan Together-OBJECTIVES Does the objective reflect a time period in which it will be accomplished (e.g., during the first quarter or mid-point of the project period)? Time Bound Is the project able to obtain the level of involvement and change reflected in each objective? Realistic Does the objective delineate an area or population (e.g., sex, age, village)? Appropriate Are the targets measurable (e.g., how much of an increase or how many people)? Measurable Is the objective clear in terms of what, how, when, and where the situation will be changed? Specific SMART GUIDELINES FOR OBJECTIVES
A good action plan usually includes the following elements:
What we would like to achieve
How we will achieve it
Who will be responsible for each activity and for results
What resources we will need and how we will use them
When and where we will implement our activities
How we will monitor progress and know when we have achieve our results
PLANNING TOGETHER MATRIX How will we know when we have achieved the result? (measurable, observable outcomes) When? How long is needed for each activity? (from __ to __) What resources do we need to achieve the result? Who is responsible for each activity (and for the end result?) What are we going to do to achieve the result? (Activities) What challenges do we think we will face in trying to achieve this result? What do we want to achieve specifically related to _______? (e.g., health service facilities) “Desired Results” Indicators of Success Timeline Resources People Responsible Tasks/ Activities Barriers/ Constraints Desired Results/ Objectives
Are they frustrated because they aren’t seeing results?
Make sure that your monitoring system identifies successes and celebrates them.
Review actions and identify why results are not positive. Reformulate plan.
Review community history and identify times when community faced difficult challenges. What strengths pulled them through? What can they build on now to maintain their motivation and energy?
Take a break. Let people rest and reflect on their experience, then call a new meeting to see what everyone wants to do.
5. Have competing interests or needs overtaken their desire to participate in the program?
Is there another specific health or other issue that participants want to address? Determine what participants want to focus on and decide how they want to proceed and whether your team is in a position to assist.
Often agricultural calendars or other community events may decrease participation at certain times. Know the community calendar and identify times that are optimal for program work.
Work with a smaller group, those most committed. Smaller groups can be quite effective.
Suspend activities for a determined period and then start up again.
6. External project funding is diminished or cut altogether
Have you explained to the donor what possible repercussions may result from the unplanned cessation of funding? (Loss of community trust, interrupted activities, broken agreements, etc.)
Are there other alternative funding and technical assistance sources available? How can communities access these resources?
What activities could continue without donor funded support? (Ideally, most of the planned activities would not require much external support so that communities could continue with their plans, possibly at a slower pace.) Work with the community to develop a revised plan based on this new development.
7. Communities want to engage in activities that do not directly or indirectly contribute to the health goal
Encourage communities to pursue their dreams.
Determine what your team’s position is on providing assistance in this case. It is okay to acknowledge that the proposed activity is an important one but that you do not possess the resources or mandate to assist with that particular project.
Help link the community with other organizations that may be interested in the proposed activity if any exist.
Point out to communities the skills that they may be learning through the education program that they may transfer to their own initiatives.
8. Other organizations “compete” for community participation by offering incentives and other “perks”
Discuss concepts of sustainability, voluntary participation and community autonomy with participants.
Continue to work with those who are truly interested in the issue, even if the group size diminishes.
You don’t need to respond by offering better incentives! When the incentives are gone, so will the participation of those who don’t really support the issue.
Develop evaluation methods and instruments and train team members in their use
Conduct the participatory evaluation
Analyze the results with the evaluation team members
Provide feedback to the community
Document and share lessons learned and recommendations for the future
Prepare to re organize
Who has direct or indirect interest in project / is stakeholder
Individuals, groups, and organizations that might want to learn from the evaluation include:
Community members who have participated in the project
Academic institutions and researchers
Government agencies (MOH, etc.)
Organizations working on similar programs
Coalitions or networks concerned about the issue
Private sector organizations
A Comparison of External and Internal Evaluators - Knows the program very well. - Finds it hardest to be objective. - Is part of the power and authority structure. - May be motivated by hopes of personal gain. - May not be specially trained in evaluation methods. Does not have more (or only a little more) training than others in the program. - Is familiar with and understands the program and can interpret personal behavior and attitudes. - Known to the program, so poses no threat of anxiety or disruption. Final recommendations may appear less threatening. - Can take a fresh look at the program. - Not personally involved, so it is easier to be objective. - Is not part of the normal power structure. - Gains nothing from the program, but may gain prestige from the evaluation. - Trained in evaluation methods. May have experience in other evaluations. Regarded as an expert by the program. - An outsider may not understand the program or the people involved. May take a long time to read background information. - May cause anxiety as program staff and participants are not sure of his or her motives. Internal External
Information collected from individuals should remain confidential and not disclosed beyond the evaluation team members. Any information released publicly should not mention names of respondents. Evaluators should not share responses from one individual with another respondent. Procedures should be put into place during the planning phase to protect confidentiality and anonymity (e.g. field notes should use pseudonyms or other forms of identification rather than real names, evaluation documents such as survey forms should not be left out in public places for everyone to see, etc.).
As with any team, it is important to maximize members’ skills and program resources. If you have many team members, it can be counterproductive for all members to attend all evaluation activities. In most cases where group discussion is involved, for example, one or two facilitators is sufficient. For example, one person can facilitate the discussion while another observes and records information. If team members are interested in building their skills in conducting a variety of evaluation methods and techniques, they can divide up the work keeping this objective in mind.
Select methods, tools and techniques after evaluation questions and content are agreed upon
Sometimes, in their zeal to try out new participatory techniques and methods, team members look for ways to include them in field work without taking the time to determine whether these particular tools or techniques would be effective to answer a particular question. Using these techniques can lead to interesting discussions, but may not ultimately help to answer priority questions that evaluation team members and the groups which they represent have set out to answer.
Keep it simple; don’t make things more complicated than they are or need to be .
It is easy to find yourself buried in pages of proposed indicators, potential methods and tools, and a variety of possible evaluation designs, so much so that some teams may forget what it was they initially had set out to learn. It helps to go back to your “burning questions” and develop a brief one- or two- page plan that everyone can refer to. Try to limit the indicators to a manageable number. Make sure that everyone on the team can explain what the evaluation is about, how it will be carried out and what they hope to learn from it. If team members cannot describe what they will be doing, the plan is not clear enough and the team leader will need to work with team members to simplify and clarify concepts and processes.
Evaluation Plan When will this information be collected What resources/ materials will be needed Who will collect this information How will we collect this information What information do we need to answer What questions do we need to ask What are the objectives and expected Outcomes
Increase support for changes in policies and resource allocation related to the issue as more communities begin to address their needs.
Begin to address some of the underlying causes of health problems as a critical mass of people develop their knowledge and skills and build organizational linkages within and beyond individual communities.
Is your program addressing a priority regionally or nationally? Do health indicators support this?
Have you proven that the proposed community mobilization approach improves health and a community’s capacity to address its health related needs?
Efficiency: Have you consolidated, defined and refined the approach so that it could be replicated or adapted by many others (individuals and organizations)? Feasibility: Is there realistic potential for political and financial/ resource support for the issue and the proposed community mobilization approach?