MEL that integrates robust evidence, stakeholder insight, and practical learning
Tackling climate change, environment and biodiversity loss, poverty and inequality.
These “wicked problems” are the defining feature of the Anthropocene – characterised by dynamic interactions between humans and ecosystems, across complex and contested systems.
Addressing these challenges requires resilient, transformative and systemic change. Innovative solutions need to be urgently found, tested and scaled. These solutions need to be grounded in robust evidence, practical learning and enhanced capacity. Our MEL approaches and methods are informed by complex systems thinking, collaborative sensemaking, and innovative and adaptive learning.
Monitoring and Results Reporting
We design, facilitate and build practical and robust monitoring and results reporting frameworks, platforms and dashboards.
Generally these integrate both quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs) with more qualitative outcome-orientated reporting methods and tools.
Results reporting frameworks and platforms are always collaboratively designed, often starting with co-developing a Theory of Change (ToC). Building results reporting systems, tools and templates is done with Grant Managers, Program Teams and partners/grantees across contexts and geographies. We ensure that evidence generation and evidence analysis processes are practical, useful and robust. Whenever possible advocate for and design-in collaborative sense-making processes for adaptive management and course correction into results reporting frameworks. A core part of all of this work is ensuring the sustainable building of MEL capacity with our partners to ensure they ‘own’ the process and value its application in the future.
We design and deliver robust and useful evaluations often for complicated programmes and organisations operating in complex contexts.
Our evaluations are designed to integrate participant sense-making to enable adaptive learning and course correction as well as generate wider new knowledge – what works, in what contexts, for whom, and why?
We have developed particular expertise in evaluation design for complicated initiatives operating in complex, dynamic, unpredictable and often contested contexts. These contexts and change processes require theory-based, mixed-methods evaluation designs accompanied by explicit and bespoke data collection and evidence analysis methods, tools and templates.
As well as always partnering with local context and subject-matter experts, we always advocate for the meaningful integration of participant sensemaking processes into evaluation design and delivery. This ensures robust evaluative processes are paired with deep understanding and unique insights into local contexts, sectors, and systems. This ‘people-focused’ orientation is critical to useful and successful evaluations – evaluations that generate robust evidence, meaningful insights, actionable course corrections, and valuable new knowledge.
Sensemaking and Learning
Sensemaking is the process of, and capacity to, make sense of the world so you can act in it. We are experts in sensemaking, pioneering an approach called Results — Sensemaking — Learning (RSL).
Sophoi’s RSL approach builds sensemaking into an Initiative’s monitoring and evaluation system – enabling stakeholders to apply their own experience and insights to make sense of evidence.
RSL is an approach to the learning needed to address complex and systemic challenges — climate change, corruption, service delivery or inequality.
The approach involves cycling through three interlinked elements.
With evidence collected in ways that are designed to engage with complex context and diverse perspectives
In which a broad set of stakeholders explore and interpret evidence, informed by their lived experience and insights.
In which insights generated through the sensemaking process inform reflection and decisions about course corrections and adaptations.
Read more about Sophoi’s sensemaking and learning work with the IKEA and Laudes Foundations in our recent Alliance Magazine article – Integrating Evidence and Experience.