by Hamdi Aden, Somalia 

Yesterday, Heidi Ober, from Care International gave an informative workshop on Theories Of Change  (TOCs) in the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME) of projects in fragile states. Using examples from Nepal, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Heidi elaborated on the need to design ‘light touch methods’ for DME which can be developed, piloted and refined so that lesson learning can happen at the local, national and international level. TOCs have become a rigorous tool for planning and evaluating projects for both donors and practitioners with the aim of ensuring that project aims and outcomes are inline with and responsive to the context at hand.

For a change of pace, we were then engaged in a process of experiential learning. Placed in the in the role of Evaluators we undertook four tasks to ‘unpack the logic’  of a sample project by formulating a hierarchy of results and designing monitoring and evaluation frameworks to ensure our theory of change, ‘ if we do x then y because…’, was responsive to the changing context of the project. A technically focused day, Heidi left us with a changed framework of how to do successful DMEs and useful tools to be able to do so.