Two good examples how networks support the result orientation of development programmes

May 29, 2013 | bit-wartung | SDC Experiences, SDC Networks |


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Networks and result orientation of development programmes? Yes! While the network members are busy with result monitoring and reporting the networks are well positioned to gain an overview and to support this task. Two networks developed reference indicators in their domain of expertise. Result reporting is a great entry point to feed the networks’ learning back into the operations.

By Marylaure Crettaz, Simon Junker, Nadia von Holzen – SDC

The SDC networks were launched in 2008 with the following remit:

  1. Promote learning and pass on professional and methodical knowledge
  2. Provide theme-related operational advice to the organizational units within the network
  3. Capitalize on experience and formulate good practices.

Successful sharing and learning is one side of the story, feeding the insights back into the operations another.

The options

There are several strategies how to integrate networks’ knowledge and insights into strategies and programmes:

• By competent network members: Active network members strengthen their personal knowledge. Competent staff feeds new knowledge into planning and monitoring discussions: they ask different questions, point to lessons learned elsewhere, and relate to standards and guidelines in certain domains.

By providing access to relevant knowledge: The networks provide its members as well as a larger audience easy access to knowledge and good practice in their field of work (e.g. water, decentralization, education). They offer working aids that are of value during planning and monitoring processes.

By direct support and guidance: The networks offer direct support and guidance on specific questions. Peers, core group members or the Focal Point participate in planning or evaluation workshops (if time resources allow).

Photo: Knowledge sharing in net- works is an ongoing process: The networks feed their knowledge into the operations; the operations feed their lessons back into the network.

Two examples

The network Agriculture and Food Security (A+FS) and the network Employment and Income (e+i) propose both four reference indicators in their thematic fields. With these initiatives they:

• promote learning across SDC;
• make it easier for projects and programmes to measure and report on their results;
• allow for an aggregated repor- ting of SDC on organisation level as well as for the monitoring of the Bill 2013-2016.

Four indicators for agriculture and food security

In 2012 more than 12 new country strategies were in the process to be defined. 80% had agriculture and food security as a priority theme. The network observed that its members were challenged by the definition of outcomes and indicators. The core group started a process of facilitated peer exchange and learning between Cooperation Offices and headquarters (e.g. A+FS f2f 2012 Blog). In total the network analyzed the indicators in annual reports of 20 countries and proposed 4 key indicators covering the issues of productivity, income, land tenure, and food gap. This year the focus is HOW to measure these indicators.

How the network A+FS partners with the Cooperation Offices to support common indicators

Four indicators for vocational skills development

On the occasion of its face-to-face meeting in May 2011, the e+i network installed a working group on common vocational skills development (VSD) indicators on outcome level. The working group comprised SDC staff in the field and at headquarters and staff of strategic partners. The results of the process are four indicators and a working aid. Both will be presented at the face-to-face meeting in May 2013.

The conclusion

Networks are well positioned to support the country strategies or programmes in crucial moments.

Networks see, hear and feel the needs of its members: Networks know where support is needed by observing the planning and monitoring tasks of its members and by listening to their questions and preoccupations. Putting their needs and questions on the network agenda and launching a joint reflection process creates a win-win situation for both sides.

Network members are important knowledge bearers: Network members are closest to the operations. Competent network members are feeding relevant knowledge and network discussions directly into their work and the PCM of the programmes they are involved in.

Networks have a broker function: The knowledge has to be accessible in the crucial moments of the planning phases of programmes. It has to be easy searchable. To promote its use, networks have to communicate smartly and beyond its network’s boundaries.

What is your experience with network knowledge and PCM?



Comments to“Two good examples how networks support the result orientation of development programmes”

  1. Christoph Spurk says:

    thanks for these insights into outcome reporting.
    Is there a document describing the four key outcome indicators in Agriculture in some detail.


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