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IRC Pass notes: Measuring & Monitoring Systems Change

Published on: 06/03/2019

Pass notes header measuring and learning

Why should I care about measuring and monitoring? Well, if you don't measure before you make a change and monitor it over time, how will you know if your change is making a difference (positive or negative)?

You've got a point. I know

So, why are we talking about this with regards to systems change then? We need to examine the tools and models for measuring and monitoring systemic change and determine whether these are supporting or constraining efforts to expand systems approaches.

Say what? OK, a systems approach is about engaging with a collaboration of actors

Like Brad Pitt? No. Concentrate

Go on. A collaboration of actors (people involved in the process) and assumes that there will be organic and often non-linear process towards the goal.

Right. So it becomes difficult to determine who did what to provoke the change you are measuring. So the key measurements become less about attribution to a sector result and more about contribution. Therefore measuring and monitoring systems change requires unconventional frameworks and new skills and tools.

I get it! But does everyone understand the difference between attribution and contribution? Not exactly. WaterAid conducted some analysis which suggests that for donors the difficulty in measuring the effectiveness of systems approaches may deter donors from fully embracing the approach, which, in turn, limits the participation of an important actor.

Well that's disappointing. Wait! Its not all bad news. The work of IRC, WASHNote, WpDX, AKVO and WaterAid at country levels reveals lessons about how the establishment of national sector monitoring platforms built on shared data can model and motivate and understanding of systems approaches.

Wow. OK, you've changed my mind, how do I find out more? Across the three days of the symposium, the Measuring and Monitoring Theme will move from the theoretical understanding of what it means to measure systems change to looking at the practicalities of how this can work at a country level. We will hear from country practitioners and thought leaders in a range of sessions including games, panels, and presentations. On Day 2, the Theme will host a Marketplace where participants can learn about a wide range of tools and approaches being tested in the sector.

Do say: Tell me more about how we convince donors to support systems through measuring and monitoring

Don't say: Pass me a ruler

Disclaimer

At IRC we have strong opinions and we value honest and frank discussion, so you won't be surprised to hear that not all the opinions on this site represent our official policy.