PROGRAMME EVALUATION

We believe that evaluation is only of real value if it helps organisations take stock of what they have achieved and use that information and learning to plan for the future. Our approach is therefore to work closely with implementing organisation stakeholders in design and analysis, while employing rigorous methods to assess outcomes and impact. Both the process and the end product of each evaluation should respond to the needs of not only the client but all programme stakeholders, including implementing organisations, their funders, partners and intended beneficiaries. Recent work in this area has included evaluations of The SEED Initiative, the World Bank’s SIDA Trust Fund on Poverty and Environment, the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative’s programme in Africa and two of its country projects, and The Access Initiative.

FACILITATION OF POLICY PROCESSES

One of the major constraints to sustainable development has been the lack of integrated policy frameworks that link its social, environmental and economic dimensions and respond to the interests of all stakeholders. We believe that a policy product is only useful if the process through which it was developed is well-designed and aimed at mainstreaming sustainable development into broader national goals and strategies. An in-depth understanding of the issues, including evidence on “what works” is essential, as is widespread stakeholder participation. In fact, we believe that good public policy can emerge from processes led by civil society or the private sector as well as by government. Our current work on policy processes includes support to the development of a Caribbean regional vision and action plan on green economy, on which we are working with partners from research and academic institutions, NGOs, governments and inter-governmental organisations.

RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS

Good sustainable development policy is grounded in research and analysis that draws on real experiences and evidence. In areas such as climate change and the post-recession global economy, lessons from past experience are limited, and innovative approaches to understanding issues and compiling evidence are needed. Many years of working on a wide range of sustainable development issues, with a strong interest in processes of participation, adaptation and resilience building, help us to understand contexts, identify and fill knowledge gaps, and assess options and alternatives. Recent work in this area has ranged from assessment of the biodiversity impacts of hotel siting in the Caribbean to analysis of the policy requirements to support effective local response to floods and droughts in the Hindu Kush Himalayas.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Organisations engaged in supporting sustainable development are only effective to the extent that they are able to learn from their experience, understand how to make best use of their capacities, and identify and respond to new challenges as they emerge. We support processes of institutional development by facilitating dialogue, assessing capacity, analysing needs and opportunities, and proposing strategic directions. This work often is built upon long-standing relationships with clients. For example, we recently conducted a review of the International Institute for Environment and Development’s approach to partnerships, and we have facilitated or supported the development of several internal strategies and policies for IUCN.

PROGRAMME AND PROJECT PLANNING

We support clients in all aspects of programme and project planning, including research, design, facilitation and document preparation. Given our breadth of experience, we are able to offer expertise on a wide range of programme areas, from climate change adaptation research to island conservation. As in all our work, our approach to programme and project planning involves active engagement with clients and their partners and beneficiaries. We are particularly keen to establish and sustain long-term relationships with organisations whose missions and values we embrace.