Specialist Evaluation and Quality Assurance Services

Specialist Evaluation and Quality Assurance Services (SEQuAS) delivers a range of core evaluation and monitoring specialised services to assist the embedding of DFID’s evaluation agenda. As part of a consortium, LTS provides expert advice on M&E planning and design, to help make strategic choices from the range of appropriate methods, approaches and designs for monitoring reviews and evaluations. We also provide quality assurance services for M&E design, implementation and delivery.

  • LTS is part of a consortium with IOD Parc and Triple Line
  • The work is desk-based but covers all of DFID’s portfolio across sectors and countries.
  • The inputs inform DFID in making strategic choices from the range of appropriate methods, approaches and designs for monitoring reviews and evaluations.
  • Overall, SEQuAS supports the design and monitoring of robust programmes and policies.

Challenges

To support an improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of DFID programme performance and support the development of programmes funded through the UK Government (including the 2.9-billion-pound International Climate Fund), DFID is placing a strong emphasis internally on the development and strengthening of programme M&E skills. At the same time, DFID is becoming a more “intelligent consumer” and commissioner of high quality monitoring reviews and evaluations, including the synthesis of evidence and strategic evaluation analysis.

Solutions

The SEQuAS consortium delivers a range of core evaluation and monitoring services. These specialist services are also available to build capacity in DFID’s partner development countries. 

LTS has provided short term evaluation and technical expertise through quality technical reviews of evaluation outputs that seek to deliver:

  • Clear and robust evidence to support results and value for money across DFID’s investments.
  • Evidence, to be routinely used by DFID staff, including from monitoring reviews and evaluations, when designing and building evaluability into new programmes.
  • A rapid expansion of monitoring and evaluation for larger and innovative programmes or where the evidence base is particularly weak.
  • Greater use of rigorous impact evaluations, using best practice international methods to assess the impact of programmes.
  • Increased access to monitoring and evaluation advice and services for HMG staff and partner governments.

Value and benefits

DFID’s objectives are to raise the standard of evaluation and to support users of evaluation (located within partner developing country national governments, the not-for-profit sector and the private sector) to promote better quality evaluation.

The overall goal is improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of DFID programme performance.

Image credit: European Commission DG ECHO

Final evaluation of Non Timber Forest Products-Participatory Forest Management project in SW Ethiopia

The project’s overall objective was “to maintain a forested landscape to support improved livelihoods of local, forest-dependent, communities and thereby ensure the delivery of environmental services in a wider context” in the highlands of south-west Ethiopia. It intended to achieve this objective by developing and promoting local forest management and forest-based economic incentives with integrated practices of Non-timber Forest Products (NTFP) and forest product development, for different people/forest scenarios. The project has been implemented jointly by three partners: the University of Huddersfield (UHUD) in the UK (the contractor to the EU), the Ethio-Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA) in Ethiopia, and Sustainable Livelihood Action (SLA) in the Netherlands.

The main outputs and areas of work of the project included: 1) Effective Participatory Forest Management (PFM) approach developed and implemented in the majority of the project area. 2) Benefits to communities from sustainable forest management increased. 3) Strengthened PFM support / services delivered from government officers and Development Agents. 4) Economically viable forest management and forest enterprise development institutions operating. 5) Forest proclamation and regulations development and implementation influenced in support of devolved forest management (PFM). 6) Government enabled to develop participatory land use planning and intensify land use and domesticated production of forest products.

LTS prepared an evaluation and sampling frame, data collection instruments & methodology for field work; undertook field work including conduct of interviews and secondary data review; analysed evidence and reviewed the project design theory; assessed the scope and potential for climate financing of participatory forest management (specifically VCS/CCBA, Plan Vivo or any broader PES schemes) at local and landscape scales; and revised the Project logical Framework and prepared the Final Evaluation Report and recommendations.

Image Credit: Benoit Rivard