CARE and Outcome Mapping Learning Community share strategies for measuring complex change
A key part of Pathways’ innovation and learning has been the development of rigorous and effective tools and measures for monitoring and evaluating our outcomes. At mid-term, the Pathways teams conducted a qualitative mid-term review, using tools from Outcome Mapping (OM)—a methodology that defines outcomes as changes in behavior. The review focused in particular on changes at the intra-household and community levels and has generated better understanding and promising evidence of the specific behavior changes toward Pathways’ gender and empowerment objectives. The use of outcome mapping (OM) tools as a methodology to assess empowerment has generated interest within and without CARE. In September, the Pathways Gender Technical Advisor, Emily Hillenbrand presented a poster on the Pathways MTR methodology at the Outcome Mapping Lab 2014, a three-day event organized by the Outcome Mapping Learning Community (OMLC) and held in Dar es Salaam. The lab offered opportunities for learning about how OM can help better understand complex, developmental change and addressed many of the measurement and management challenges faced in complex contexts. The event convened participants at different skill levels, from those completely new to OM as well as experienced users. The poster can be viewed on the OMLC website, along with the training content from the OM lab.
In a second event, in October 23, a webinar on the methodology was presented to the CARE community, through the forum of the WEIMI (Women’s Empowerment Impact Measurement Initiative) series. Kaia Ambrose (Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for CARE Canada) introduced Outcome Mapping, and Pranati Mohanraj and Emily Hillenbrand, of the Pathways core team, introduced the MTR objectives and process and discussed the implications and possibilities of this approach. Christina John (Business Advisor, Pathways Tanzania), Lillian Mpama (M&E Officer, Pathways Tanzania), and Mamadou Coulibaly (Program Manager, Pathways Mali) shared their experiences conducting the MTR to an audience made up of CARE and OMLC participants. Some of the challenges of the process were the high skill level and time required for the evaluation, and the difficulties of uniformly categorizing and organizing progress markers (or behavior changes). On the other hand, they appreciated the participatory nature of the process, noting that the respondents gained self-awareness through the process of reflection. The process also enabled them to uncover some gender trends and power shifts—both positive and negative—that they would not otherwise have known about.