EnCompass has served as an evaluation partner for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Maternal Health Accountability Grants in Nigeria as part of its Population and Reproductive Health Programs since 2013. This project funded a portfolio of seven, 3-year grants focused on increasing government accountability for maternal health at the federal, state, and local levels in 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), through four accountability strategies: promoting transparency in maternal health budgeting, supporting legal approaches, improving media coverage on the topic, and helping to establish and support maternal death review committees.
To ensure the Foundation was able demonstrate the most promising pathways for increasing government accountability to maternal health, EnCompass worked with the Foundation to create a blended learning strategy, to accomplish two objectives concurrently:
- Evaluate the portfolio over time through a baseline assessment, and midline and endline evaluations
- Build grantee organizations’ monitoring capacity to learn and adapt their individual projects over time.
These objectives were accomplished through a participatory evaluation process. EnCompass started the grant by delivering a Theory of Change workshop to help grantees develop monitoring plans for their grants that fit within the broader Portfolio Theory of change. Throughout the grant, EnCompass conducted face-to-face skill-building workshops, data quality assessments, a baseline assessment, midline and endline evaluations and provided ongoing monthly mentoring and technical assistance.
The midline and endline evaluations were conducted with a participatory, utilization-focused approach. The approach included holding an evaluation design meeting with grantees prior to the evaluation and a data consultation meetings to validate findings and create recommendations following data collection. An illustration of this blended learning strategy in a timeline is available below. The video at bottom discusses EnCompass’ evaluation approach and the feedback received from participants in one of the first workshops EnCompass conducted in 2014.
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