American Evaluation Association 2015: Pathways contributes to global discourse on measuring social change

Screen Shot 2016 01 03 at 2.48.47 PM 294x398 American Evaluation Association 2015: Pathways contributes to global discourse on measuring social change

CARE Pathways works across the globe– in Bangladesh and Ghana, Mali and Malawi– but in November 2015, two team members traveled to a new location: Chicago. While Pathways wasn’t working with female farmers in the Windy City, the team was fulfilling another vital part of the Pathways mission, which is to contribute to the global discourse around gender in the agriculture sector.

At the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) annual conference, which this year was held from 9-14 November, had over 700 concurrent sessions targeting Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning professionals from all sectors. The theme of this year’s conference was “Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World.” Pranati Mohanraj, Pathways M&E TA, and Emily Hillenbrand, Pathways STA in Gender, participated in two panels to share the innovative ways that Pathways is measuring and monitoring gender behavior change. In the session “Measuring Gender-Transformative Change,” they presented alongside an all-CARE panel with presenters from CARE’s Education, Water, and Gender units. In a second panel, “Applying Outcome Mapping to the Evaluation of Socially Transformative Projects, Programs, and Policies,” they joined a panel of other practitioners of Outcome Mapping, which included case studies from land policy planning in Mozambique, K-12 Education in the US. The Pathways presentation detailed how staff from all five program countries came together to define a common gender-indicator framework with country-specific gender behavior change indicators, which Pathways teams are currently using to track gender changes in their programs. 

In both panels, Pranati and Emily drew on lessons learned from Pathways’ midterm review process, especially the use of Outcome Mapping, and from a literature review of indicators of gender-transformative change. By sharing these tools, how they were developed, and how they can be applied for ongoing monitoring and evaluations, the Pathways program contributes to furthering more accurate, user-friendly, and contextually appropriate measures of understanding complex social change.

About the Program: CARE’s Pathways Program is based on the conviction that female farmers possess enormous potential to contribute to long-term food security for their families and substantially impact nutritional outcomes in sustainable ways. The program builds on CARE’s expertise in smallholder agriculture, financial inclusion, nutrition, women’s empowerment and market engagement. Working in partnership with others, Pathways promotes transformative change in women’s live and the lives of their families by combining and expanding upon the best of what we know. Pathways aims to increase the productivity and empowerment of women farmers in more equitable agriculture systems at scale. Specific objectives include increasing the productivity and empowerment of 50,000 poor women farmers in sustainable and equitable agricultural systems; enhancing the scale of high-quality women-responsive agricultural programming within and beyond CARE; and influencing debates and policy dialog on women and agriculture at local, national and global levels.