Natural Resources SA MDB MERI Program places an emphasis on identifying the primary audience and the users of information arising from an evaluation in the early stages of evaluation development. This participatory approach to evaluation will help make the evaluation results more useful and increase evaluation capacity within the organisation.
At the project-level, a self-evaluation approach will be taken. Project leaders will develop a MERI Plan, collect information and make their own assessment of performance and progress. The resulting information will be of value for other processes, however, the primary intent is to support project improvement by those undertaking the project.
Natural resources SA MDB is also initiating a series of ‘hotspot’ evaluations to occur over the next few years, which will take the project self-evaluation processes and data collection to a deeper level.
The ‘hotspot’ evaluations will help answer questions, address gaps and support Business Plan development and program improvement. Reasons for undertaking more detailed evaluations might include:
- Examining areas of work that inherently have higher risk e.g. political importance, broad implications, high degree of complexity;
- Exploring anomalies or unexpected results;
- Evaluating pilot projects or new concepts, or simply
- Investigating to improve our understanding of outcomes being achieved or the linkage to achieving the NRM Plan’s targets.
Steering committees will help to guide these processes, providing input and direction on the purpose, scope and format of the evaluations.
In 2010, the following two evaluations were undertaken:
Delivery of information and services to schools through the NRM Education activities of the Capacity Building Program An analysis of the Sustainable Irrigation Program including the impact and effectiveness of Training Workshops and other services provided to irrigators
More information on these evaluations is available from Rebecca Arnold.