Integrating Experiential Knowledge and Staff Observation in Value Chain M&E


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These are the slides prepared by Alexis Morcrette for the e-consultation webinar on Informal Knowledge in M&E. They pull together the contributions from the participants including people from ACDI/VOCA, EWB, IDE, CARE, DCED and Practical Action.

The paper in the workplan (topic 2) will be based on these findings, framed within the context of existing resources and materials, and with some direction towards emerging practical tools. In other words: the voices of the participants will become a learning agenda for the following months!

Find the full discussions, audio of the webinar and other resources at:

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Integrating Experiential Knowledge and Staff Observation in Value Chain M&E

  1. 1. E-consultation: Integrating Experiential Knowledge and Staff Observation in Value Chain M&E<br />July 19 – 21 2011<br />
  2. 2. Wrap-up Webinar July 21 2011<br />
  3. 3. Synthesis of the discussion so far...<br />Prepared by Alexis Morcrette (Practical Action)<br />
  4. 4. Thank you for your contributions so far<br />Mohammed Siddiquee<br />Senthil Kumar Gurunathan<br />Colleen Duncan<br />Erwin Rathnaweera<br />GianlucaNardi<br />Stu Taylor<br />Eliza Islam<br />MeeraSundararajan<br />Ruth Campbell<br />NabanitaSen<br />Lucho Osorio<br />Facilitators<br />Alexis Morcrette (Practical Action)<br />Christian Pennotti (CARE)<br />Brandon Szabo (KDMD / International Resource Group)<br />
  5. 5. Experiential knowledge and staff observations (1)<br />Monitoring a rural seed fair: # of attendees; Value of goods sold; Participant feedback; Observation of field co. of huddle of farmers talking about skit;farmers crowding around reps of seed supplier; text from suppliers about future events.<br />Monitoring local dairy cooperative: Quality & volume of milk; membership rates of cooperative; observation of relationships of cooperative leader with community; attitudes of cooperative members<br />
  6. 6. Value of experiential knowledge and staff observations (2)<br />The informal knowledge from observation is only a snapshot but carries information about attitudes, trust, relationships of market actors (S.K. Gurunathan – CARE)<br />Nuggets capture leading outcomes suggesting what is going well and should be built on, what is not going well and should be improved; (C. Duncan – EWB)<br />This knowledge is collected, communicated and used to user action quickly.<br />Telling us about sustainability of systemic changes that are founded on behaviour changes. Contributing to evidence about sustainability of intervention; (E. Islam – CARE)<br />Helping us to untangle the attribution of behaviour changes. (E. Islam - CARE; C. Duncan – EWB)<br />
  7. 7. Information for different users and different uses<br />Monitoring and evaluation should be multi-purpose:<br />Serving different users with<br />Different types of information (content and characteristics) for<br />Different purposes<br />This is the case for informal information, e.g. (S. Taylor – IDE):<br />Useful to complement quantitative data to untangle causality in analysis for longer-term learning<br />Useful to feed managers quickly to inform adaptive decision-making <br />
  8. 8. What managers want – content<br />Typical content:<br />Attitudes, confidence, prejudices, trust, relationships<br />Proxying for incentives and anticipating behaviour change, within a framework of the goal and pathway towards it<br />
  9. 9. What managers want – characteristics<br />Ease of Access<br />Timeliness<br />Documented in some form<br />(S. Taylor – IDE)<br />Quick: daily, weekly or monthly<br />Very specific to field activities<br />With information user in mind<br />Ideally in person, next best by phone<br />(C. Duncan – EWB)<br />
  10. 10. A tension: open spaces and direction<br />A culture of sharing and learning (G. N – CARE)<br />Open mind;<br />Curiosity;<br />Attitude of questioning assumptions<br />Flexibility<br />Some direction needed to organise information flow and build that culture (S. Taylor – IDE; A. Morcrette – PA)<br />More on this later<br />
  11. 11. Incentives to make EK&SO work better (1)<br />Tension between ‘getting the job done’ and learning is passed down from donor to manager to staff: work with donors to be more learning oriented (RC – ACDI/VOCA)<br />Changing program office culture away from directed management with incentives for learning:<br />Learning deliverables in job description and part of performance review<br />Rewarding learning with exposure internally and externally (RC – ACDI/VOCA)<br />
  12. 12. Incentives to make EK&SO work better (2)<br />Shaking up the established culture<br />Hiring staff from less traditional backgrounds (RC – ACDI/VOCA)<br />Nurturing a learning culture<br />Strong, flattened feedbacks between managers and field staff (CD – EWB))<br />Integrated into day-to-day work (facilitation) (CD – EWB))<br />
  13. 13. Capacity building to make EK&SO work better<br />‘Bright spots’ and ‘ninjas’ (S. Taylor – IDE)<br />Getting staff to shadow experienced or successful colleagues and through mentoring make their implicit methods explicit<br />Embed observational practices into facilitation capacity building<br />False distinction between informal monitoring, observational knowledge management and facilitation (C. Pennotti – CARE, A. Morcrette – PA)<br />
  14. 14. Focusing on the important – using results chains<br />
  15. 15. 3 ways to use results chains (e.g. from Practical Action)<br />Participatory Results Chain Mapping: Bringing all project staff on the same page about the logic of the project<br />Esp. role of facilitator to nurture behaviour change routines that are critical to market system change;<br />Use of results chain to identify/prioritise ‘killer’ assumptions for field staff to look out for;<br />Revisiting results chains periodically at project staff meetings to organise observation sharing.<br />