The Consortium Project “CSOs & Policy Dialogue – Further strengthening capacities of CSOs engaging in Policy Dialogue” is a three years programme funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Specific project objective is to “Further strengthen capacities of East African CSOs regarding their policy dialogue engagement”. Expected results included: i) Capacity development and cross-learning plan for partner CSOs is developed; ii) The ability of East African CSOs to engage in policy dialogue has been further strengthened in their field of work; iii) Recommendations/ guidelines for CSOs engagement in Policy Dialogue are further complemented and used/ applied. The project implemented two approaches: i) Collective training workshops, as well as cross-learning and organization focused Capacity Development activities, guided by a capacity development plan; ii) Partner Organizations plan and implement their own Small Action Fund Initiatives, aiming at influencing policy making spaces, and allowing them to develop their own Policy Dialogue Strategies, and to test and consolidate different methods and approaches for effective engagement along the Policy Cycle.

The Objective of this evaluation was to assess the design and implementation, fulfilment of objectives and achievement of expected results. The evaluation assessed the intervention logic of the project by addressing a series of guiding questions concerning relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability

CSO’s and Policy Dialogue: Project Evaluation

The Consortium Project “CSOs & Policy Dialogue"is a three years programme funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Phase II (Jan 1st 2017 – Dec 31st 2019) succeeded the pilot phase (Dec 1st2014 – 30th Nov 2016) and is implemented under the lead of HORIZONT30000 by a Consortium of five Austrian NGOs and their local partners in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda). Their project objective is to “Further strengthen capacities of East African CSOs regarding their policy dialogue engagement”.

Overall, the findings of the external evaluation carried out in 2019 indicate that the project is on course towards achievement of its objectives and results. There is good progress and significant gains that can be consolidated. Read More...

CARE International Advocacy and Influencing: A Review of Pathways to Success

This report constitutes a review of 208 advocacy and influencing initiatives that reported having successfully influenced policies, plans and budgets. A sample of 31 cases were included in for review. These comprised influencing outcomes across 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Europe. We estimate that outcomes these initiatives influenced have so far improved the lives of more than 4.2 million people, with the potential for future impacts for a further 116 million people. 20 cases were from national or local level policy, plan or budget influence in the global South, and 11 case from the global North, influencing donor strategies or international negotiations.

Overall, the top 4 strategies employed across the North and the global South were: (i) lobbying-decision-makers; (ii) coalition building; (iii) public forums and (iv) method replication. Twice as common as any other strategy was lobbying decision-makers. This was also judged to be the most effective strategy in both the South and the North. 23 initiatives employed some form of lobbying decision-makers, and in 19 of these it was ranked as the most influential strategy. This lobbying was commonly a form of “insider” approach where CARE and partners already had a good relationship with government line ministries, having built credibility and trust over a number of years. Particularly in the South, advocacy efforts were part of a strategy over more than five years. Such efforts demonstrate that long-term investment is required for policy change to materialise into impact. The main tactics or strategies which did not feature strongly were activism and campaigning such as marches, petitions and use of social media, and evidence for the use of research was also uneven. We consider why this may be the case in greater detail toward the end of the paper

Evidence of Change In Gender Equality and Women‘s Empowerment in the Balkans 2005-2012

This is a report about CARE’s work to advance gender equality in the Balkans and what we have achieved over the past seven years. Our goal is to give account and to demonstrate our commitment to change the lives of the people we serve. We want to illustrate the real life impact of the work we do with our partners and to document the process, methods and the tools used. We want to show that what we and partners have achieved, is relevant to the regional context and that our approaches and methodologies make a demonstrable difference. We also want to learn from our challenges and limitations, and we will use these lessons in our future work. Read More...

Learning From Failure 2019

Driven by a wish to learn more from what goes wrong in our programming, and to examine where changes to the broader organization and system can improve our programming and impact globally, in 2019 CARE undertook its first evaluations-based failure meta-analysis. This analysis draws learning and evidence from 114 evaluations of CARE’s work from 2015-2018 to understand the patterns and trends in what goes wrong. This helps us take a data-driven approach to strategic investments and action plans to live out CARE’s commitment to high program quality and continuous improvement across the board.
The review draws from project specific data, but deliberately anonymizes the data and focuses on overarching trends to remove blame for any specific project team or set of individuals. This exercise is designed to help us learn more about how we can change our processes and patterns of support and engagement around weak areas to improve our work. CARE is using this data to build action plans and next steps to continuously improve our programming.

Child, Early and Forced Marriage: CARE’s Global Experience

In two world regions—Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the Asia Pacific—CARE has developed regional strategies on CEFM that galvanize influence with regional, national, and global bodies, support feminist movements, connect the local to the global, scale up and share strategies that work, and target popular media with positive images of equality.18 At the same time, CARE is working on the ground in high prevalence countries around the world. This document lays out CARE’s
approach and experience in CEFM prevention and mitigation across the globe. Read More...

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Program Global Results Report

GEWEP II works with poor and vulnerable women and girls in some of the world’s most fragile states: Burundi, DRC, Mali, Myanmar, Niger and Rwanda. By end 2018, the programme has reached more than 1 067 200 women and girls, mainly through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). Norad has supported VSLAs since they were first piloted in Niger in 1991.
Since then, Norad has supported over 47 800 groups and more than 1 100 000 women. During GEWEP II, from 2016 through 2018, more than 14 200 new groups were established. This report includes results on both outcome and output level. The table below summarises the results at outcome level, for indicators collected at the population level. Overall, there is a positive change in the perception and attitude to women’s economic, political and social empowerment in the programme intervention zones. On a national level, there has been positive changes in legislation, but implementation is still a challenge. Read More...


LINK Up, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to link 10,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to formal financial institutions; building financial inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania, assessing the impacts of access to formal financial services on VSLAs and their
members and determining whether serving such groups presented a viable business case for financial service providers (FSPs).

Over the course of this program, LINK Up partners have opened 13,165 group savings accounts and have served approximately 322,000 members, 81% of which were women.
To implement LINK Up, CARE partnered with four financial service providers; co-designing and copromoting group products and alternative channel solutions tailored to the needs of savings groups and their members. The collaborations resulted in the creation of four new group-focused products and a host of innovations in the mobile and agent banking solutions deployed to deliver those products. Read More...

State of Practice: Savings Groups and the Role of Government in Sub-Saharan Africa

Savings Groups are community-based financial service providers that deliver basic financial services to millions of members in underserved markets worldwide. Traditionally, the promotion of Savings Groups has been led by national and international NGOs and a large extension network of community-based trainers. In recent years, governments across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have deepened their engagement with Savings Groups, recognizing the potential of the community-based microfinance model to contribute to national financial inclusion strategies and development agendas. This state of practice report provides a comprehensive overview of government interventions in the sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, the authors conducted an extensive desk review and interviews with 46 government representatives from 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report identifies and describes 74 government initiatives in the Savings Group sector, across 20 countries1 in Sub-Saharan Africa. [64 pages] Read More...

Advocacy and Influencing Impact Reporting Tool Global Family Planning Summit

This tool has been developed to gather further information and evidence on CARE’s advocacy or influencing win. At CARE, advocacy is defined as “the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions about developing, changing and implementing policies to reduce poverty and achieve social justice.1” Influencing and advocacy can go beyond government policies, it can include influencing governments, donors or NGOs to adopt a CARE program model or influencing the private sector to change their company policies or operating practices.
This tool captures the significance of the win, the level of CARE and our partner’s contribution, who stands to benefit from the change, and what evidence do we have to support a claim of change or impact. With the wide range of successes within influencing work and the various roles CARE may have played in this win, this tool allows us to identify how significant the win is as well as the significance of CARE’s contribution and our partners. Read More...

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