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June 3, 2011
Throughout the last year, RCLA has been managing an evaluation for the Institute of International Education (IIE) West Coast Center's Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health Program (LDM), an initiative funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The co-principal evaluators, Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, deputy director of RCLA, and Judith Kallick Russell, consultant, have been implementing the evaluation in collaboration with national evaluators in each of the five program countries: Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
The Participatory Action Research approach designed for this evaluation involves the use of mixed methods, including a comprehensive review of existing documentation, interviews with key informants, and the creation of multiple spaces for data collection and collective sense making through small Action-Reflection groups. This approach has offered genuine spaces and opportunities for Fellows, LDM program staff and other stakeholders to reflect on the program's gains and lessons learned, while providing rich and meaningful opportunities for learning and sense making.
The results from the evaluation have been documented in individual country-level reports produced by the five national evaluators and a program-level report from RCLA that analyzes the evaluation results across the five countries. These reports will be publicly available at the end of Summer 2011.
A culminating workshop was conducted from May 11-13, 2011, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The meeting was organized and designed by Cheryl Francisconi, regional director for IIE, with feedback from the RCLA team and IIE staff. Employing a wide variety of participatory methods, the workshop brought together the evaluation team, LDM country office managers and assistants, and two members of the Packard Foundation evaluation office, Musimbi Kanyoro, director of the Population Program, and Huong Nguyen, research associate.
The purpose of the workshop was to expand and deepen the findings and cross-country analysis, to review the evaluation's innovative methodology, and to define the next steps for completing and disseminating the reports.
The workshop provided a unique opportunity for collective examination of findings at the program level, building on the data gathered within each country. The group had a series of dynamic discussions on the program's influence on reproductive health, family planning and leadership development in terms of individual, organizational and community changes, systems and policy changes, and networking and collaboration. The group also discussed stakeholders' views on the sustainability of the gains of the LDM program and how they relate to similar work in the field of international development, reproductive health, family planning, and leadership development.
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