How We Evaluate Our Work
Every project that the Foundation undertakes is designed, monitored and evaluated according to the Logical Framework Approach. It is vital for the success of our programs that clear objectives are set, and that we develop measurable indicators towards their success.
The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation is one of the first foundations in the region to adopt a knowledge-based approach. We believe that the success of our work is only achievable when measured according to international frameworks of evaluation.
As such, the Foundation has adopted the Logical Framework Approach (LFA) as its management tool to design, monitor and evaluate its projects.
The LFA approach is widely used in international development projects, and organizations such as the United Nation Development Program and the Rockefeller Foundation. It mainly revolves around a 4X4 matrix that identifies the project goals, purposes, activities and outputs. Once that is done, indicators and variables are identified to allow the monitoring and evaluation of our activities.
How the Logical Framework Approach is applied
The first step in applying a logical framework approach is describing the project as a series of statements (similar to our theory of change approach we use in crafting our strategy). From this, we construct the project structure under a framework of four levels:
- Developing and identifying the project’s wider goal or aim. It should be accompanied by a statement that describes the way in which the proposed work is expected to contribute to achieving the aim.
- Articulating the project’s objectives to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. This is the intended impact or effect of the project on the target population
- Defining the project’s expected outcomes. The outcomes are a result of the completed project activities; the result of these activities should lead to the project achieving its objective.
- Outlining the activities that we expect the project to undertake. In this step we identify the inputs needed to start the project and then carry out the activities. For each of the project’s structure levels identified above (aim, objective, outputs and activities) we identify indicators to measure the performance at different stages of the project. These measurement tools are mainly built upon two approaches known as the Formative and Summative evaluation methods
Our Measuring Tools: Formative and Summative Evaluations
Formative and Summative evaluations are two main approaches that we apply to measure the impact and outcome of our projects. While both seek to measure project effectiveness and improve results; each focuses on one side of the program (the program itself, and the outcome of the program).
Formative Evaluation for Program Improvements:
- Takes place before and during the project.
- Aims to improve the project design as its being implemented.
- Measures short term impact.
- Seeks continuous development and assists in modifying the project to improve the outcome.
Summative Evaluation to Measure Impacts:
- Takes place during and after the project implementation.
- It measures both impact and outcome of the project.
- Summarizes the impact and development of those involved in the project and provides a form of assessment.
An example of our use of both Formative and Summative evaluation approaches can be seen here:
- The Art Trip Evaluation
There were four evaluation tools used (two Formative and two Summative) as part of assessing the Art Trip project. The Formative tools were applied before and after the trip to observe the participants’ perspectives regarding the program itself and it focused on using the information to improve the design and execution of future trips. On the other hand, two Summative approaches were used to measure the learning outcomes and impact of the trip on the participants’ knowledge and interest.
- Muntada Alzheimer’s Evaluation
The Muntada Alzheimer’s evaluation was also based on a Formative and Summative approach to assessment. Attendees of the event were asked to fill a questionnaire that assessed the program offering itself (Formative) and the learning outcomes (Summative).
The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation is dedicated to creating projects that are based on measurable outcomes and impact. As a result, evaluation plays an central role in our day-to-day practice.