What made our evaluation meaningful?
The Shiraka programme is wide and complex, hence not one intervention fit all contexts. MDF used the realist evaluation approach. We identified What worked, in which circumstances, and for whom? Rather than merely evaluating 'Did it work'?
In close consultation with the client, we reconstructed the Theory of Change and extracted the main change mechanisms (hypotheses), through which the programme components were expected to contribute to the desired outcomes. The data collection confirmed or refuted the hypotheses. It gave insights in the contextual factors that offer the most robust and plausible explanations of observed patterns of change.
How is it impactful?
This way we were able to assess if and how the training and tailor-made exchanges contributed to improved performance of governmental entities. And if it led to strengthened political dialogue and diplomatic relations between the MENA countries and the Netherlands.
Besides an evaluation report, we created an electronic magazine with attractive visualisations of the evaluation results. Its recommendations helped the clients and their implementing partners to strengthen the strategic logic and vision of the follow-up programme.