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Making the Case

Page history last edited by Alexandra Pittman 10 years, 9 months ago

 

“Making the Case.” Women’s Funding Network.

 

Making the Case is an M&E reporting tool developed by the Women’s Funding Network. This self-assessment tool can be used as a framework for planning, communicating, evaluating, and documenting program changes to a variety of audiences, e.g., from internal staff reflections to external reporting to donors. At this time, Making the Case is designed primarily for women’s funds and some other donor networks and their grantees as a tool for capturing changes according to five shifts: shifts in expectations, definitions, behavior, and policy as well as maintaining past gains. Additionally, the tool includes a detailed analysis of the context by assessing the inhibitors and accelerators to change including, but not limited to, the political, economic, technological, and legal and policy environment. The tool preferences a narrative format for reporting impact based on the above shifts. Women’s Funding Network has created a website for Making the Case users to help keep track of and streamline assessment steps. It also offers a variety of tools for trend analysis over time, which can strengthen organizational learning systems as well as contribute to external reporting. More recently, the WFN is developing innovative ways to visually depict the data in meaningful ways, adding further value added to the tool.  In addition, they are developing possibilities for customizing the tool in the future.

 

Strengths:

  • Making the Case helps increase understanding of the different types of individual and institutional changes the program contributes to since multiple shifts are assessed.
  • The in-depth contextual analysis allows for more nuanced and relevant planning and assessment mechanisms.
  • Qualitative descriptions of impact that assess both current and previous impact along with contextual analysis allow for tracking change over time.
  • The inclusion of the analysis that assesses whether past gains have been maintained contributes to better understanding of the sustainability and the boundaries of the program effects.
  • Making the Case is in the “cloud” in a database hosted on a secure offsite server that is backed up 24/7. Users have access to their data all the time and can easily aggregate their data, create reports, and compare their data over time.  
  • Users have access to cutting-edge data visualization software, which presents a large amount of data in a visually pleasing and accessible way.
  • Donors can use the shifts to communicate the key areas that they are contributing to change. 

 

Weaknesses (or not designed for):

  • Making the Case is more heavily focused on assessing results and outcomes and is not as useful for learning and improvement of program implementation strategies. 
  • Making the Case does not create a mechanism for articulating the relationship between program activities and their intended outcomes, which makes it more difficult to pinpoint what led to shifts in attitudes, behaviors, and policies.
  • Since the pathways to change are not identified, we are unable to tell how change was fostered and if the changes are linked to program implementation.
  • Organizations must have their own monitoring and evaluation systems and capacity in place to best make use of Making the Case for reporting. 
  • Assessment of progress is done through self-assessment, which is not comparable from the donor perspective and is not necessarily based on quantifiable information. 
  • There is no emphasis on developing baselines and then conducting comparisons to show if shifts have actually occurred. 

 

 

 

     

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