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  • Evaluation of ActionAid Denmark | Final Synthesis Report | INTRAC January 2012

    i

    ActionAid Denmark Evaluation

    Synthesis Report

    Cowan Coventry

    13th January 2012

    INTRAC Oxbridge Court, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0ES UK www.intrac.org

    http://www.intrac.org/
  • Evaluation of ActionAid Denmark | Final Synthesis Report | INTRAC January 2012

    ii

    List of abbreviations AADK ActionAid Denmark

    AAI ActionAid International

    BLD Building Local Democracy

    CEO Chief Executive Officer

    CSO Civil Society Organisation

    EC European Commission

    ELBAG Economic Literacy and Budget Analysis in Governance

    HRBA Human Rights Based Approach

    IGT International Governance Team

    JDG Just and Democratic Governance

    MOU Memorandum of Understanding

    MS Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke

    NDS National Development Strategy

    P4C People for Change

    RfD Recycling for Development

    TCDC Training Centre for Development Cooperation

    TOT Training of Trainers

    T4C Training for Change

    WFI Women for Influence

  • Evaluation of ActionAid Denmark | Final Synthesis Report | INTRAC January 2012

    iii

    Contents

    Executive Summary ........................................................................................................... iv

    1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 1 1.1. Background to the evaluation ................................................................................................. 1

    1.2. Methodology .............................................................................................................................. 2

    2. Relevance and effectiveness of AADK programmes ................................................. 3

    3. AADK in the Danish context ........................................................................................ 7

    3.1. Sectoral trends in the international and Danish context.............................7

    3.2. Fundraising .............................................................................................................................. 12

    3.3. Media and campaigning ........................................................................................................ 14

    3.4. Global Contact ........................................................................................................................ 16

    4. AADK in ActionAid International............................................................................... 19

    4.1. Leadership of the Just and Democratic Governance theme ........................................... 20

    4.2. The Activista programme ...................................................................................................... 22

    4.3. Training4Change .................................................................................................................... 24

    4.4. People4Change ...................................................................................................................... 27

    5. Managing Change in AADK ....................................................................................... 30 5.1. Revised governance .............................................................................................................. 30

    5.2. Change management ............................................................................................................ 32

    6. Conclusions ............................................................................................................... 33

    Annex 1: Objectives and scope of the evaluation ......................................................... 37

    Annex 2: Evaluation surveys: methodologies ................................................................ 39

  • Evaluation of ActionAid Denmark | Final Synthesis Report | INTRAC January 2012

    iv

    Executive Summary

    1. MS-ActionAid Denmark (AADK) has embarked upon a wide range of transformative

    changes since 2006 including refocusing its programme work on the governance

    theme; redesigning its development worker programme as People for Change;

    revamping and expanding its training work through Training for Change and a

    network of Global Platforms; and perhaps most fundamentally deciding to affiliate

    with ActionAid International. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the

    relevance of the strategic decisions taken by AADK in the last six years and its

    effectiveness in implementing them.

    2. The evaluation was based upon a comprehensive data gathering process which

    included twelve surveys, including two tracer studies; three field visits; and

    approximately 200 interviews. Seven separate, stand-alone evaluation reports and

    two internal reports have been produced on AADK programmes and operations. This

    synthesis report summarises the key findings from these and assesses more broadly

    the overall relevance and effectiveness of AADKs strategic decision-making and the

    implications for future strategy development.

    3. In 2011, prior to this evaluation, AADK commissioned a number of summative

    evaluations of their former country programmes prior to their merger with AAI. The

    evaluations confirmed the relevance of the democracy focus of AADK country

    programmes and highlighted a number of achievements in the different governance

    themes. Some key recommendations were made with regard to future AADK

    governance work - for example, for better linkages between local and national level

    governance work; for support to both the demand and supply side of governance;

    and for improved M&E systems to better measure the effectiveness of governance

    activities.

    AADK in the Danish context

    4. AADK strategic choices and programming in recent years - for example, its decision

    to focus on governance, its work on strengthening capacity through T4C and P4C

    and connecting people through Global Contact - have all been well-aligned with the

    Danish Civil Society strategy. Danida is currently in a period of transition with a new

    government and its Civil Society strategy under review. While AADK is mostly well-

    positioned with regard to emerging trends it would be prudent to anticipate that

    Danidas policies and practices vis--vis civil society may evolve in line with those of

    other Northern donors. This might translate into major changes in traditional funding

    arrangements for NGOs including reduction in net funding available; an opening up

    to more partners; increases in the match funding required from partners; and more

    explicit links to the demonstration of results.

    5. AADKs public fundraising was propelled by Danidas stipulation in 2006 that it

    provide 10% of the Frame Agreement budget from its own resources. AADK has

    significantly grown its gross income from public fundraising from a very low base.

    Although it has been able to meet its match funding requirements, net income has

    stagnated in the last two years. It is unlikely to meet its fundraising targets without

    significant investment. AADK finds itself in a difficult situation - to increase its general

    funds it will need to invest, but all the income it raises is already allocated to

    programmes under the Frame Agreement. AADK would be more likely to reduce its

  • Evaluation of ActionAid Denmark | Final Synthesis Report | INTRAC January 2012

    v

    dependency on Frame funding if the Agreement allowed it flexibility to use its own

    matching funds to invest in programme activities outside the agreement including

    marketing and fundraising.

    6. AADK is committed to building a campaign organisation in Denmark based on youth

    activism. This focus on popular activism to raise public awareness on development

    issues draws upon its history of connecting people and reflects the focus and

    constraints of Danida funding for public education on development issues in

    Denmark. Despite limited resources, AADK has achieved a good campaigning profile

    and strong media coverage in recent years that have contributed to AADK being

    seen as a credible, authoritative voice in the Danish press. AADK would be even

    more effective in campaigning, however, if it adopted a more strategic, outcome-

    oriented approach. This would focus on policy and practice change for the benefit of

    poor people in the South as the end purpose to which mobilising activism is one of

    the means. A key step will be to establish planning mechanisms to coordinate

    across the organisation and to prioritise campaigns. It may be about doing less, but

    doing better.

    7. Volunteers, host organisations and families express high levels of satisfaction with

    Global Contact. There is evidence that volunteers gain a more global perspective on

    development issues and host organisations report both tangible and intangible

    benefits from the experience. The data is too limited to draw firm conclusions on the

    linkage between volunteering and increased social activism. There are some positive

    indications, but it would require more systematic monitoring of volunteers over time to

    explore this further. Global Contact also benefits AADK since volunteers become

    AADK members and the programme provides a significant proportion of the