Appreciative Inquiry

A hand assembling a jigsaw puzzle

Typically, when you’re asked to conduct an evaluation, you start by looking at background documents to orient yourself to the project. But what if you don’t have this verbal or pictorial map? What’s your way forward?

laundry hanging to dry

It was Tuesday evening and the living room of the quaint older home in the city center was filled with a diverse and lively crowd. They had gathered to see each other and express their frustration and hardships through artistic expressions and spontaneous testimonials. A young man introduced himself, suggesting I should see another place where people had rediscovered a long-lost sense of freedom and empowerment.

The Malawi Girls’ Empowerment through Education and Health Activity (ASPIRE) is a 4-year, $16.2 million, USAID activity implemented by Save the Children and three partners, designed to support the Government of Malawi to improve girls’ achievement in upper primary and secondary school, and ultimately, girls’ empowerment. ASPIRE has three outputs:

The Malawi Girls’ Empowerment through Education and Health Activity (ASPIRE) is a 4-year, $16.2 million, USAID activity implemented by Save the Children and three partners designed to support the Government of Malawi to improve girls’ achievement in upper primary and secondary school, and ultimately, girls’ empowerment. ASPIRE has three outputs:

report cover

ASPIRE is a 4-year, $16.2 million, USAID activity implemented by Save the Children and three partners, including EnCompass. ASPIRE has three outputs:

This month, many individuals are seeking ways to be better allies by upholding and protecting the rights and dignity of friends, family members, and colleagues. But what does it mean for an organization to be an ally?

As we honor Pride Month at EnCompass, we have been reflecting on how our work supports dignity, security, rights, and inclusive human development. One recent example stands out.

Portrait of Woman

EnCompass conducted a corporate evaluation of UN Women’s Regional Architecture. UN Women’s mandate is to progress efficiently and effectively toward the goal of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Primary level students in a rural Zambian community school (c/o Zachariah Falconer-Stout)

The USAID Education Strategy approaches education as both foundational to human development and critically linked to economic growth and democratic governance. Education raises individual incomes and improves health outcomes. Access to education is a crucial precondition to educational impact, but what matters most thereafter is the quality of education. Recognizing these important links to other powerful drivers of development, EnCompass has recently developed a number of resources focused on practical solutions and innovative approaches in education that empower girls and boys to create a better future in all countries.

Grantees developing evaluation questions using a facilitation technique called Brainwriting.

Written by Jonathan Jones

Michael Quinn Patton’s publication, Utilization-Focused Evaluation, catalyzed a discussion on evaluation use that has continued for over 30 years. The first step in operationalizing this discussion is to glean the priorities of the client and evaluands in the design process. Fully understanding and eliciting their priorities can be done in a creative, respectful, and fun way that is rewarding for all involved- and that’s exactly what we set out to do for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Image of trainees at workshop

Under subcontract to Business Community Synergies, EnCompass designed and facilitated a five-day training course for USAID Education Sector staff in effectively implementing new USAID policies and a new program design cycle.  Sessions were interactive and included a simulation, small group strategy huddles, best practice case studies, and an appreciative exploration of participants’ own experiences.  The community of practice that followed the course included targeted virtual sessions, as well as custom-design performance support tools.

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