Evaluations are a core competency at ASK, and seek toprovide an independent assessment of critical aspects of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, result, impact, sustainability, and community participation, among others, in specific development projects or programmes. The intent is to draw learning, both in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and to help & support organizations to develop, change, modify and strengthen their strategies, capacity building inputs, approaches, methodologies, nature of interventions, staffing and project or programme management. Quality and professional Evaluations haveover the years gained emergent prominence in the development sector, and are a strong requirement by
both, donor agencies and project implementing organisations.
Assessments and Studies have been included as part of the domain with the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive coverage of issues that are specific to programme,project, area, and organization,the findings of which serve as building blocks for key decisions regardingneed for interventions across socio-economic- cultural contexts, need for capacity building, programme development, and resource allocation, as well as for developing, modifying, and strengthening programme& organization strategies, approaches and methodologies.
ASK believes in fostering an environment of enhanced ownership among stakeholders and the community, and carries this mandate to its assessments, studies, and evaluations, undertaken over an array of social issues. Over the years ASK has developed an expertise in the area, developing an in-depth understanding of varied subject matter domains and facilitatingan informed, participatory, comprehensive, and sustainable process of tapping results for social change.
Use Focused Evaluations
Evaluations are in-depth assessments of a programme or project to map the achievement of defined results and socio-economic impacts that they seek to attain in the long run. ASK works with a use-focused approach, wherein Evaluation results serve as necessary tools for making concrete decisions on new strategy development, approach and methodologies, planning of interventions and capacity building requirements. The intent is to enable organizationsto channel their learning from Evaluations to increase efficiency and effectiveness of programmes/ projects concerned. ASK conducts Mid-Term and End-Line Evaluations on semi-completion and near completion, or post completion, of a designated programme/ project phase,
together with stakeholders, community members, implementing authorities, functionaries, beneficiaries, and non-beneficiaries to make the process participatory and socially inclusive.
A monitoring exerciseincludesthe periodic assessment of the level of implementation of defined activities and attainment of corresponding outputs and results for an ongoing project or programme. Keeping the pre-programme situation assessment and results based proposal as benchmarks, monitoring looks into minute activities and accomplishments to generate a detailed assessment of progress made.Monitoring results
ASK undertakes impact assessments to research, analyze, and present findings on the tiers of society that have been impacts due to the implementation of a result-oriented programme, over a long run. Impact assessments are issue based and primarily concentrate on the direct impacts on beneficiary communities and subsequent socio-economic change that the beneficiaries have been able to percolate through multiple tiers of the society at large. Findings of impact assessments are useful in highlighting best practices and right approaches of development work that have a direct bearing on development of long term plans and programmes.
Studies & Rapid Appraisals
ASK conducts a wide array of studies and rapid appraisals that are customized with regard to issue, geography, purpose of study, communities, and cultures being dealt with. Studies may comprise of situation assessments, need assessments, and an assessment of perceptions with respect to social issues such as health, education, livelihoods, employability, etc., and broadly encompass the concrete status, challenges, and urgent needs of communities concerned. Studies are primarily undertaken for purpose of new programme initiation, consideration by corporate for CSR initiatives or for the purpose of further research by organizations.
Encouraging and facilitating the stakeholders to make decisions and plans of actions rather than ending with a set of recommendations. Since the process is more engaging from the beginning, the inclination of the organizations is towards clear decision making at the end of the evaluation. - Michael Quinn Patton
Focusing not only on compliance but also on adaptability to change
Non-threatening, but challenging
Not fault finding, but facilitative and enabling
Independent and Objective
Targeted towards capacity building and always in the best interests of the community
2. Effectiveness 3. Efficiency 4. Impact 5. Sustainability
ASK provides its services on social research projectsinitiated with a specific motive or hypothesis and comprising of multi-stakeholder consultations, large scale data procurement and management, use of scientific and customized qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and tools of analysis. Leveraging upon the years of expertise of the domain in undertaking programme, issue, organization, and community specific studies, assessments, and evaluations, ASK encapsulates the core skills required in social research and gains its edge from its international exposure to varied thematic issues.
Organization Assessment & Context Analysis
A more recent phenomenon taking place across NGOs in India is the conduction of an Organization Development process that is preceded by a comprehensive Organization Assessment (OA)and Context Analysis. OA comprises of an in-depth analysis of an organization’s internal governance, management, programmes, policies, and linkages, with respect to relevance and effectiveness, to deduct recommendations for better organizational strategies and synergy. Context Analysis comprises of a study of the organization’s external environment, challenges, threats and opportunities, to recommend how the organization may further its mandate, making an opportune use of external environmental considerations, and guard itself to effectively meet challenges.
A Pre-Funding Appraisal is a form of Organization Assessment that is carried out on the behest of donor organizations and/or corporate for NGOs that they deem suitable for implementation of programmes, projects, and CSR initiatives. The appraisal is carried out to secure that the NGO concerned has updated policies, procedures, and capacities for programme execution, as well as to identify areas where
further capacity building may be required, and to strengthen NGO performance, if required, through a process of Organization Development, prior to the commencement of the assigned programme or project.
ASK undertakes the comprehensive documentation of organization and programme specific processes, history and milestones, case studies, approaches and best practices. Process documentations are usually requested for after an organizationand/or programme have been running for a significant amount of time, and wish to highlight and record in detail their approaches over the years, methods of dealing with challenges, decisions, achievements, and best practices. The process is carried out in consultation with the various stakeholders involved, from management to grassroots communities and beneficiaries.
ASK strongly believes in constant improvement of Evaluation theory, methods, ethics and standards, both for itself and for the development sector at large. In order to facilitate field building (improvement in theory and practice) in Evaluation, ASK, with support from International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, founded and formed the Community of Evaluators (CoE) in South Asia in the year 2007. Presently it is an informal body with 37 members (Evaluation organizations, donors, Independent Consultants) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. While the CoE does not conduct evaluations, it serves as a platform for knowledge and capacity building, interchange between South Asia and rest of the World, and advocacy on critical issues in Evaluation.
At ASK we welcome any queries you may have with regard to our organization, our work and our services. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Evaluation and Studies Domain, Association for Stimulating Know How
Phone: 0124 4060353/ 54 (Extn: 22) Mobile: +91 9999094204 Fax: +91 124 4060355