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Conceputalising, achieving and measuring impact

Conceputalising, achieving and measuring impact

Kumar, Ravinder ORCID: 0000-0002-0157-1310 and Martin, Adrienne ORCID: 0000-0001-9305-7302 (2017) Conceputalising, achieving and measuring impact. In: Resilient Small-scale Fisheries Symposium. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) 2017, pp. 27-28. ISBN 978-1925746075 ISSN 978-1925746082 (Online)

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Sustaining and increasing the contribution of Small Scale Fisheries to poverty reduction, food and nutrition security requires a three dimensional approach – conceptualising, achieving and measuring impact. This paper presents preliminary options and emerging ideas for FISH CGIAR Research Program – Flagship 2 (Small Scale Fisheries) to consider for improving conceptualization, achievement and measurement of research and development impact. Through a series of relevant examples, connected with FISH CRP theory of change, the paper demonstrates how a better understanding and reflection on research outputs, research outcomes and development outcomes can avoid confusion in these result statements in the visualised impact pathway of each research stream /cluster of activities within Fish CRP.

Each research activity has its own vision and a story to tell as to how ‘change’ will happen (originally captured in the change mechanisms described in the CRP proposal). These should be succinct statements of the research outputs and research outcomes and how they lead to development outcomes, laid out as a theory of change. It is important for the FISH CRP to consider intermediate links (‘what it takes’ to reach there) between these elements. These intermediate links have the potential to better define and build the logic within the theory of change and also can help the CRP in understanding missing links (if any). In practical terms, they are the change mechanisms and associated strategies utilised by the program. Also assumptions and risks need to be defined in order to ensure that the proposed pathway of change is grounded in reality and that risk management strategies are implemented and monitored. Additionally, one to three ‘indicators’ are required at each result level (output, research outcome and development outcome), which can then be linked to SLO /IDOs.

This approach allows for greater reflection on how systemic change can happen which can address the FP2 critique regarding weak articulation of the understanding of complexity of systematic change in SSF. It can help to meet donor requirements for clarity on the CRP’s research and development contribution.

Achieving impact will require a ‘Development Outcome’ focus in annual planning and budgeting and diligent planning of annual milestones. The CRP can also consider cluster-wise allocation and depiction of budgets on various cluster of activities within a flagship. Measurement of impact in the CRP is challenging given the diversity of research streams, data and reporting requirements. Therefore it necessitates application of a systematic and standardised approach in knowledge to action sequence. Utility orientation in any measurement / Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is critical for ensuring that it contributes to both accountability and learning aspects. Cascaded M&E approach can be considered by the CRP. Cascaded M&E allows tracking of knowledge to action sequence, starting at research activity /cluster level and then building up an aggregated picture. This could allow for collection, reflection and generation of knowledge at various geo-levels: site, country, regional, global. Overall the paper propose provisional options and ideas to develop an effective M&E system that is less ‘report-based’ and more of a support to ‘pursuing science’.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Resilient Small-scale Fisheries Symposium
Additional Information: Proceedings of a workshop held in Penang, Malaysia, 5–7 September 2017
Uncontrolled Keywords: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning System, Result-Based Management, Fisheries, Small Scale Fisheries, Sustainable Aquaculture, Project Management System
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 14:18

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