Here we list agreed 'terminology' used in the Program This is a work in progress - add new terms or concepts you think need to be specified. You can also suggest texts or improvements.
- Intended to communicate more outcome orientation
- ‘Theme’ tend to be passive, open-ended
- ‘Flagship Project’ is meant to express focus with a specific outcome/outcome to be achieved
Cluster of Activities:
- Replaces ‘OUTPUT’. It’s a particular set of activities being undertaken in any given year, or the full set of Activities to be undertaken to achieve a particular ‘Output’
- Improvements of a situation in terms of social and economic benefits which respond to identified development needs of the target population under a long-term vision.
- The consequences/effects/results of the outputs produced by the CRP. Outcomes are the wider changes in the social, economic and bio-physical environment in a target area and/or in the behaviour of a target population that are attributable to the CRP’s implementation or to which the CRP has contributed. For example, the availability of new policy options for better addressing food security issues (an output) results in an outcome of increased food security in a country. Outcomes, like outputs, relate to the completion of activities and are a type of result over which scientists have a lower level of control than over outputs, because of the confounding effect of many other changes taking place at the scale at which outcomes become manifest.
- Intended situation around completion of CRP Outputs during or soon after the project's lifespan in terms of gains in performance (as a result of changes in knowledge, skills and behavior).
- Products and services produced or competences and capacities established directly as a result of project activities. Outputs are under the control / responsibility of project management and should be directly attributable to CRP activities.
- A milestone is a scheduled event signifying the completion of a major deliverable or a set of related deliverables. It is a flag in the work plan to signify some other work has completed – as stages towards achievement of the output.
- Serve as output targets.
- Aim for yearly milestones.
- Deliverables provide the evidence that would indicate successful completion of a milestone.
- Serve as indicators of achievement of the milestones?
- Specific tasks performed using resources and methods in order to achieve the intended outputs. Critical factors for carrying out activities are professional skills, the availability of sufficient financial resources and the absorption capacity of the local partners as well as of the target groups and beneficiaries.
- “expanding, replicating, adapting and sustaining successful policies, programs or projects in geographic space and over time to reach a greater number of rural poor.” ([http:www.ifad.org/events/scalingup| source IFAD] and [http:www.brookings.edu/about/projects/development-assistance/scaling-up-development-impact| Brookings]). The methodology of scaling up begins with a vision for the long-range impact of an existing or new intervention, along with a time horizon for taking it to scale. Next comes the identification of individual and institutional champions who are committed to the project’s success – along with the drivers (including market forces) that will push it forward.
- This seems to be subsumed in the scaling up definition above.
- The thing someone should do which is most likely to achieve the result they want
- The main products that the program is developing and committing our focus to produce. It corresponds to the ‘Flagship product’ or ‘technology under the development’ in annual report. Help to identify what is really key to our work. Identifying it will help us define it and monitor it. Allows us to consider where it is in the discovery to delivery spectrum, the associated steps (activities), timeline and milestones.
MEL Framework listing
The list below is taken from 'Livestock and Fish monitoring, evaluation and learning framework'
|Activities||Specific tasks performed using resources and methods in order to achieve the intended outputs. Critical factors for carrying out activities are professional skills, the availability of sufficient financial resources and the absorption capacity of the local partners as well as of the target groups and beneficiaries.|
|Attribution||The ascription of a causal link between observed (or expected to be observed) changes and a specific activity / intervention. |
Note: Attribution refers to that which is to be credited for the observed changes or results (i.e. outputs, outcomes, impact) achieved. It represents the extent to which observed effects can be attributed to a specific intervention taking account of other interventions, (anticipated or unanticipated) confounding factors, or external shocks.
In CRP L&F we use attribution mainly in Research Phase activities, where we work within well-defined boundaries: spatially, temporally and institutionally. In this case we look for the causal link with research outputs and outcomes. During CRP L&F Development Phase activities then the term contribution will be more commonly used to identify causal links between activities and results, i.e. development outputs, outcomes and impact.
|Audit||Financial and management audit in the CGIAR provide accountability to management at the level of the Center Boards, Consortium and Fund Council on finances and assets and also provide elements of oversight in human resources and business efficiency.|
|Appraisal||An ex-ante assessment of the quality, relevance, feasibility and potential for impact and sustainability of a research program or activity, usually prior to a decision on funding it.|
|Baseline Study||An analysis describing the situation prior to research activities, against which progress can be assessed or comparisons made.|
In the context of CRP L&F, specific baseline studies for aligned bilateral projects and/or designed research activities (e.g. RCTs) will provide one component of the baselining and latterly the monitoring and evaluation to the L&G Program. Their contribution will include baseline indicators for research results and potentially include initial values for development results including the development indicators (IDOs) although changes in these may not be attributable directly to the research activity.
|Baselining||Specifically, for Consortium CRPs this refers to a range of analysis describing the situation/problems to be addressed by a CRP, justifying the CRP’s focus and capturing the key hypotheses made by the CRP about how the target domain (geographical) and target groups will be affected by the innovations introduced by the CRP. It uses key variables and proxies to capture these dimensions. It can be undertaken at different levels of resolution and serves to provide an overall context and set of indicators and proxies of change that help frame the scope of the CRP. It serves as a basis for setting the initial values for the indicators of progress in achieving the objectives (research & development outputs, outcomes and eventually impacts) |
The baselining activity for CRP L&F is a diagnostic / assessment exercise made up of specific research and development project baseline studies, situational analyses, targeted diagnostic surveys and secondary data. The indicators measured should be captured both within and external to CRP research sites.
The indicators captured within a research site during baselining will provide: 1) initial measures prior to interventions (as in a Baseline Study) for research activities and 2) can also provide initial quantitative assessment of initial values for our development indicators (IDOs), recognizing these are within a specific environment – the CRP Research Site. For 2, the data will need to be combined with other elements of the baselining to provide a full picture for IDO starting values. Monitoring of changes of these development indicators within a research site can be used for ex-ante impact assessment of the potential development impact of our research site activities when scaled-up and/or scaled-out.
|Behavioural Independence||Objectivity and impartiality on the part of evaluators (which is not guaranteed by structural independence; for example evaluators may be reluctant to be critical of people they think may provide them with future contracts).|
|Beneficiaries (Direct and Indirect)||The individuals, groups, or organizations, whether targeted or not, that benefit, directly or indirectly, from the research or development activities and results. |
Direct Beneficiaries are those who are active participants in a research or development activity and Indirect Beneficiaries are further removed from the activity but still benefit from the results of the activity. For example, a development project to increase off-farm employment of women – the woman participating in the project is a direct beneficiary and their family may be indirect beneficiaries through increased wealth in the home.
The characterization of direct and indirect beneficiaries for each activity of CRP L&F will need to be defined individually; general guidance is: within a L&F Research Site Research Activities, Direct Active participants in program activities: Species producers (including their families), VC actors for specific species, organizations relating to specific value-chain, species consumers; Indirect = Non-participating in program activities: Same groups as above (IF can justify that they will receive indirect benefit from their interactions with active participants)
|Best Bet||A Best Bet is a technology, process, institutional or social innovation that has been chosen through a rigorous, participatory and transparent research-based selection process because of its potential for making a positive contribution to one or more of the CGIAR Livestock and Fish Research Program Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs). It can be packaged discretely or as part of a bundle of related innovations.|
|Cluster of Activities||A breakdown of the Flagship Project, with its own objectives, methodologies and sites; its components produce outputs and research outcomes. Formerly known as ‘CRP Outputs’.|
|Comparison Group||Individuals, groups and/or locations, whose characteristics are similar to those of the intervention participants / locations but who do not receive the intervention. Under trial conditions (e.g. RCT) in which the evaluator can ensure that no confounding factors affect the comparison group it is called a control group.|
|Comparative Advantage||In economic terms, a comparative advantage in producing or selling a good is possessed by an individual, firm or country with the lowest opportunity cost (as opposed to absolute cost) in producing the good. In these standards the term refers more broadly to the role and mandate of the CGIAR in producing international public goods where there are no alternative research suppliers that are better positioned to produce those goods.|
|Confirmation Bias||Tendency to seek out evidence that is consistent with the expected findings on any aspect of the evaluation, instead of seeking out evidence that could disprove them.|
|Contribution||Contribution emphasizes the confluence of multiple causal factors to a particular change observed and emphasizes the issue of whether or not, and how, an intervention contributes to the change observed.|
For the L&F Development Phase we are likely to focus on the contribution of the program to outcomes and impact (rather than attribution of the program) as many other external factors will also contribute to changes observed on-the-ground (e.g. policy, local government, other projects, changes in markets / prices, environmental changes – natural disasters, climate change etc.)
|Control Group||A special case of the comparison group, in which the evaluator can control the environment and so limit confounding factors.|
|Cost effectiveness||Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) is a form of economic analysis that compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action. Cost-effectiveness analysis is distinct from cost-benefit analysis, which assigns a monetary value to the measure of effect. In research programs costing of outputs is more feasible than outcomes that typically depend on conditions and activities outside of research.|
|Counterfactual||Counterfactual: The situation or condition which (hypothetically) would have prevailed if there had been no activity / intervention. |
For CRP L&F our definition of the counterfactual will depend on the level of activity being conducted. Within a research site and for specific research activities we may identify comparison or control groups / sites that provide the counterfactual information (the choice of comparison or control will depend on the number of external factors which may also be influencing observed changes).
For development activities and some large-scale research activities it would be impossible to identify clearly non-participants (groups or locations) with similar characteristics and in this case we will need to use our monitoring, learning, secondary data and expert opinion to explain how changes in the activity / intervention group may be attributed to / contributed by the intervention.
|Cross cutting||Elements of the program that make a substantive contribution in multiple flagships and that make a contribution to the achievement of development outcomes. In Livestock and Fish these are Communications, Capacity Development, Gender and Partnerships.|
|Deliverable||Deliverables provides tangible evidence for the Outputs (e.g. publications, databases, and training materials) although they may also be considered to be Outputs (see definition).|
|Effectiveness||The extent to which the program or project objectives were achieved, or are expected to be achieved, taking into account their relative importance.|
|Efficiency||A measure of how economically resources/inputs (funds, expertise, time, etc.) are converted to results. In the CGIAR context assessment of efficiency refers to activities and outputs that are in the control of the research programs or cut across several CRPs. In the private sector “value for money” is commonly used for efficiency.|
(Formative and Summative)
|The systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project, program or policy, its design, implementation and results. In the CGIAR evaluation refers to an external, completely (IEA commissioned) or largely (CRP commissioned) independent and systematic study of an in-depth nature that uses clear evaluation criteria. In addition to research, it applies also to central CGIAR institutions, support programs and themes, and the System as a whole. An evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making processes of major stakeholders |
Evaluations are typically sub-categorized as either ‘summative’ or ‘formative’. A formative evaluation is used to improve a project, program or policy; it is conducted at an early or mid-point in the implementation cycle with the aim of informing decision-making aimed at improvement. A summative evaluation is conducted at the end of a project or program and measures success against pre-determined indicators; a summative evaluation is typically used to decide if a project or program should be adopted, continued or modified.
|Evaluation Criteria||Different aspects of quality of a program which are used internationally to develop evaluation questions and serve as a check that all major issues have been considered. In the CGIAR these include relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and quality of science.|
|Evaluation Manager||The individual primarily responsible for managing the evaluation process, including the evaluation design, engagement of reference group, contracting evaluators, briefing evaluators and providing logistical support, troubleshooting emerging problems, giving feedback on process and reports as quality assurance, and managing feedback processes including communication events. The evaluation manager should be behaviorally, and where possible structurally, independent of CGIAR management.|
|Evaluation Matrix||A brief and clear description of the evaluation questions by evaluation criteria and proposed approach to each question, summarized in tabular form.|
|Evaluation Reference Group||A structure set up to work with the evaluation managers to ensure good communication with, learning by, and appropriate accountability to primary evaluation clients and key stakeholders, while preserving the independence of evaluators.|
|Evaluators||The team of individuals carrying out the evaluation; normally independent experts contracted by the evaluation commissioners. Evaluators are responsible for the detailed planning of the evaluation, collecting and analyzing data, and preparing and presenting reports.|
|Flagship Project (Discovery Vs. Delivery)||A coherent body of work with a single high level objective that contributes to one or more of the IDOs. The flagship is divided into multiple clusters of activities conducted over phases of the CRP.|
Discovery is interpreted as the creation of technologies that are new or applied in a different context and Delivery is interpreted as enabling innovations for scaling. The interface between these areas is an iterative process that involves both researchers and development partners creating, sharing, learning and spreading technologies.
|Funder||Any organization or entity that makes a financial or in-kind contribution to a program that is reflected in the audited financial statements of the program, including partner countries that contribute for example, seconded staff, or office space, provided that these are formally recognized in the financial statements of the program.|
|Global public goods (a.k.a International Public Goods)||These are defined as goods with the three following economic properties: ‘non-rivalrous’ (i.e. consumption of this good by anyone does not reduce the quantity available to others), ‘non-excludable’ (it is impossible to prevent anyone from consuming it) and available worldwide. In the CGIAR the term International Public Goods is also used. It refers to issues that are deemed to be important to the international community; and typically cannot, or will not, be adequately addressed by individual entities acting alone.|
|Impacts||Positive and negative, primary and secondary long-term effects resulting from a chain of events to which research has contributed, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended. |
Note that sometimes the term impact is used to refer to more immediate results, here defined as Outcomes.
|Impact Assessment (ex-ante & ex-post, Stage I)||In the CGIAR this term is generally used for an ex-post study that uses specialized methods to estimate the changes in selected development parameters and the extent to which these are attributable to defined research activities. The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) has an oversight and capacity building function for impact assessment studies in the CGIAR. |
With the Livestock and Fish CRP, Impact Assessments are technology-focused studies conducted in Stage I of the impact pathway and are designed to produce a warranted ‘attribution’ claim. Disaggregate economic rate of return studies are an example of this sort of ex-post impact assessment.
|Impact Evaluation (ex-post, Stage II)||These studies focus on the ‘bigger picture’, and employ an array of mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative, that are able to provide answers to questions of a ‘how’ and ‘why’ nature, along with a warranted contribution claim. As a result of this shift in emphasis from an impact accountability approach associated with stage 1 studies, to one more geared toward learning and reflection associated with stage II studies, L&F will designate these studies as ex-post impact evaluations (ex-post impact evaluation as opposed to assessments).|
|Impact Pathway||The causal pathway for a research project or flagship or value chain that outlines the expected sequence to achieve desired objectives beginning with inputs, moving through activities and outputs, and culminating in outcomes and impacts. Assumptions underpinning the causal chain and feed-back loops are usually included (closely related terms include Logical Framework and Theory of Change).|
|Impartiality||In conducting an evaluation, the absence of bias in due process, in the scope and methodology, and in considering and presenting achievements and challenges. The principle applies to the clients of the evaluation, donors and partners, management, beneficiaries, and the evaluation team.|
|Independence||An evaluation that is carried out by entities and persons free from the control of those involved in policy making, management, or implementation of program activities. This entails both organizational and behavioral independence, protection from interference, and avoidance of conflicts of interest.|
|Indicator||A quantitative or qualitative variable that represents an approximation of the characteristic, phenomenon or change of interest (for instance, efficiency, quality or outcome). Indicators can be used to monitor research or to help assess for instance organizational or research performance.|
Within CRP L&F Indicators will be captured in several ways and for different uses (see Baseline Study, Baselining, IDO and Impact). For IDO’s the indicators, captured at different levels (e.g. field, farm, community, value-chain) both within and external to a CRP research site will then be combined with ToC, expert opinion (e.g. on the representativeness of CRP research sites, the scalability of impact from CRP research sites outwards) and adoption studies to provide evidence for progress towards IDOs.
|Inputs||The financial, human, and material resources used in research.|
|Intermediate development outcome (IDO):||At a CRP level, IDO targets represent CRP-specific thrusts and target domains that are generated as a result of multiple activities by diverse actors outside the CGIAR. Their scales reflect CRP target domain and estimated volume of benefits. At System level, IDOs represent accumulation of CRP outcome results with the scale corresponding to the CGIAR’s target domains.|
|International Public Goods (see Global Public Goods)|
|Intervention||This is an action or process conducted within activities of the L&F Program on participants of the Program. It may be:|
* a single technology, methodology, tool, event, etc. or a combination of many
* directed at a single type beneficiary or stakeholder or many
* involve a single part of the value-chain or multiple points
* tested in the Research Phase and promoted in the Development Phase
Within a specific experimentally designed research activity (e.g. RCT) this is referred to as the ‘treatment’.
|Learning||Within the CRP, learning refers to a set of strategic questions that the CRP intends to answer through evaluations, impact assessments, other forms of targeted research and reflection. Learning is used for research purposes to guide decisions on research design and adjustment.|
|Milestones||A milestone is a scheduled event signifying the completion of a major output or a set of related outputs. It is a flag in the work plan to signify some other work has been completed. Used for internal management purposes to monitor progress towards or stages towards the achievement of clusters of activities or activities.|
|Monitoring||A process of continuous or periodic collection and analysis of data to compare how well a project, program, or policy is being implemented against expected results, in order to track performance against plans and targets, to identify reasons for under or over achievement, and to take necessary actions to improve performance. Monitoring is usually the responsibility of program management and operational staff, while evaluation as defined in this Policy and Standards is carried out by external evaluators. Monitoring is also used for research purposes to guide decisions on research design and adjustment.|
|Mutual Accountability||In the context of the CGIAR, this refers to the accountability of all partners, including donors, for the efficiency of outputs, outcomes and impacts of a program, institution or policy and sustainability of research.|
|Objective (Project or Program)||Improvements of a situation in terms of social and economic benefits which respond to identified development needs of the target population under a long-term vision.|
|Outcome (Research & Development)||Research outcomes: The likely or achieved effects from research outputs applied by intermediary users, for instance by national partners or international research or development organizations.|
Development outcomes: The likely or achieved short-term and medium-term effects on the target population of a development project’s interventions outputs.
|Output (Research & Development)||Research Outputs: The products, capital goods and services which result from research, capacity building and other activities related to research for development. |
Development Outputs: The products, capital goods and services which result from a development intervention; may also include changes resulting from the intervention which are relevant to the achievement of outcomes.
|Panel Data||Data collected through consecutive surveys in which observations are collected on the same sample of respondents in each round. Panel data may suffer from attrition (i.e. drop-out), which can result in bias.|
|Research Participant||An individual, village, group, organization etc. participating directly in the research activity of CRP L&F.|
|Peer Review||A process of review involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of relevance and quality improve performance and provide credibility. A peer review may be an input into an evaluation.|
|Phase (of the CRP)
|Within the CRP, a phase is an analytical category used characterize progress over a broad timespan. The L&F CRP has identified three phases: a research, development and scaling-out phase. |
The CGIAR defines phases very differently, according to a three year funding cycle for CRPs.
|Project (Development and Research)||A project is a donor-funded agreement that provides financial resources to be used during a defined timeframe to achieve specific objectives. Projects may be partially or fully associated with the program’s mandate. Projects may have a pure research or development focus, or a combination of the two.|
|Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)||An impact assessment design in which random assignment has been used to allocate the intervention amongst members of the eligible population. Since there should be no correlation between participant characteristics and the outcome, and differences in outcome between the treatment and control can be fully attributed to the intervention, i.e. there is no selection bias. However, RCTs may be subject to several types of bias and so need to follow strict protocols. Also called Experimental design.|
|Relevance||The extent to which the objectives of a development intervention are consistent with global and national priorities and policies, as well as those of intended beneficiaries, partners and donors. In these Standards, it also refers to the extent to which the program is consistent with the goals, the System Level Outcomes, comparative advantage and reform agenda of the CGIAR and program activities are consistent with the objectives of the program and its Intermediate Development Outcomes.|
|Results||The output, outcome or impact (intended or unintended, positive and/or negative) of an activity.|
|Review||An assessment of the progress and performance of an intervention (including research), periodically or on an ad hoc basis. The words evaluation and review are often used interchangeably, but in the CGIAR, an evaluation refers to an external, completely (IEA commissioned) or largely (CRP commissioned) independent and systematic study of an in-depth nature using clear evaluation criteria, whereas reviews may be more flexible and narrow in focus.|
|Scaling-out||Replicating, in whole or part, a given intervention into a new setting beyond the original national value chain, and the adaptation that is likely to be required.|
|Scaling-up||Replicating, in whole or part, a given intervention in an existing national value chain. Scaling-up implies a movement from a relatively small, pilot intervention of hundreds or thousands of beneficiaries, to a large-scale intervention with tens and hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries.|
|Secondary Data||Data that has been collected for another purpose, but may be reanalyzed in a subsequent study. |
Secondary data for CRP L&F may be at global (e.g. spatial datasets on climate, soil, livestock populations, poverty; FAOSTAT), regional (e.g. policies, trade), national or sub-national (e.g. census). It may be quantitative and/or qualitative in nature and could include expert opinion and partner reports.
|Stakeholders||Agencies, organizations, groups or individuals who have a direct or indirect interest in the component of the CGIAR, for instance research program or its evaluation.|
|Sustainability||The continuation of benefits from a program intervention after research has been completed; the probability of continued long-term benefits or scalability of the benefits; the resilience to risk of the net benefit flows over time.|
|System Level Outcomes (SLOs)||The high level impact goals of the CGIAR: Reduction in rural poverty; Increase in food security; Improving nutrition and health; and more sustainable management of natural resources.|
|Target Group / Population||The individuals or organizations for whose benefit the research or development activity is ultimately undertaken, for example farmers or consumers in particular regions or agro ecologies.|
For CRP L&F the overall target group / population are, globally, all poor livestock farmers and associated value-chain actors including consumers! Within L&F selected value-chains then we focus on this population within specific species and the level to which we can extend our results to other locations (scale-out) will determine the target group / population.
|Situational Analysis||A rapid assessment that scans the context of a particular national value chain, with particular emphasis on identification of existing production, market and institutional systems; other defining characteristics that may be included in a Situational Analysis include (but are not limited to) ecological, socio-political and cultural variables.|
|Theory of Change||Presents an explicit identification of the ways by which change is expected to occur from output to outcome and impact along an impact pathway. The TOC questions the assumptions about causality underlying the relationships between outputs, outcomes and impact. In TOC the assumptions present the mechanisms of change. There is no single method or presentational form agreed for TOCs.|
|Transparency||As a criterion for assessing governance and management, the extent to which decision-making, reporting, and implementation processes are clearly explained and open to view.|
|Triangulation||The use of three or more sources, or types of information, or types of analysis, to verify and substantiate an assessment, in order to overcome the potential bias that comes from a single source or method.|
|Unit of Analysis||The class of elemental units that constitute the population and the units selected for measurement; also, the class of elemental units to which the measurements are generalized.|
|Value-Chain||A Value-chain (VC) refers to the network of different functions or stages from production to consumption of a certain commodity or product, including the interrelationships between the main actors along the chain and all the ancillary support services (Kaplinsky and Morris, 2001).|