Moving Targets, Widening Nets: Monitoring incremental and adaptive change in an Empowerment and Accountability programme

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Measuring the results and effectiveness of empowerment and accountability programmes is difficult and fraught with pitfalls. New and influential thinking on ‘doing development differently’ is pointing the way to achieving greater programme effectiveness, but raising additional challenges in relation to monitoring and evaluation. This paper shares learning from SAVI, a DFID-funded empowerment and accountability programme in Nigeria. In accordance with problem-driven, iterative, and politically-smart principles, SAVI has evolved an approach to monitoring and evaluation which, whilst meeting DFID planning and reporting requirements, also enables reporting of results that derive from learning by doing, and planning which is flexible and adaptive to the local political economy context.

The SAVI programme came to an end in April 2016. The same management team are now implementing the follow-up programme, the Engaged Citizens Pillar of the new DFID-funded Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme in Nigeria, which started in May 2016. This programme will take a similar approach to SAVI, and this SAVI website will link to the PERL website as soon as it is established.