Monitoring and evaluation is integrated into project design and planning to ensure continuous improvement in program delivery. Learnings from one project evaluation will be used to inform ways of working for new and ongoing projects. Two final term and one mid-term evaluations were conducted in the 2017 financial year along with a meta-evaluation for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) projects. A selection of these are detailed below:
The Tsogolo Labwino project (phase III) was implemented in Salima district in central Malawi. It sought to achieve three key outcomes: improved institutional governance, improved household food security using climate smart agriculture, and improved household skills to sustain wellbeing with local resources. The evaluation found that harvest volumes decreased from the preceding period due to external factors, however lead farmers are playing a key role in building the capacity of other farmers and there has been a huge leap in application of conservation technologies. 94% of households have access to clean and safe water and close to two thirds of households interviewed were applying the correct hygiene practice at the point of water consumption.
WASH for Craras, Luca & Uma Quic was a three-year ADRA Australia funded project. It is evident that access to clean water has improved dramatically in two of the three project sites (Craras and Luca). There is evidence of improved access to sanitation facilities however estimated toilet construction is approximately 100 of 350 planned latrines. Community mobilisation using a Community Led Total Sanitation approach was limited. Clinic records revealed a decrease in diarrhoea cases (up to 20%) coinciding with ADRA’s ‘triggering’ meetings. While environmental factors may have been responsible for the modest decline, clinic staff concurred that it is more likely that hygiene education was responsible.
The purpose of this evaluation was to inform the revision of the agency’s Theory of Change and its overall high level results measurement. The evaluation noted several recommendations to improve effectiveness. Some of these include: conducting annual reviews on alignment with the standards across all projects, and improving the level of understanding in the organisation of the role of project goals and how to state and measure them effectively. It is suggested that activities be intentionally designed to activate intrinsic values in order to achieve the desired impact of the agency. Further work is recommended to validate this in practice.