• Helping NHS projects to set a clear path to results and strengthen health systems through global exchange

    23 November 2022
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    In August 2022 CIDT’s Ella Haruna delivered training for staff from Global Health Partnerships of the NHS, which works to strengthen health systems and services in England and across the world through international exchanges. The training was delivered for 20 participants at the Telford campus of the University of Wolverhampton.

    Global Health Partnerships staff were keen to explore how their initiatives can produce and demonstrate desirable outcomes – and to identify a common language and shared approach to project design and monitoring across their Directorates.

    The two-day training introduced the logical framework and theory of change as two tools or approaches for commissioning, planning, monitoring, review, evaluation and lesson learning, and to explore and articulate how social change happens in the context of a project.

    Participants said:

    “I enjoyed that we used our own examples in the breakout work . It helped me to understand better what I need to do…”

    “I enjoyed the interactive aspect of the training. It was very useful to have a “budding project/programme” for teams to work on. It was useful as a mechanisms not only to help teams see a different perspective to their “logic” but also generate a Directorate wide understanding.” 

    “The action learning set approach with review of the project by my peers was useful. Leaving the workshop with some specific actions to implement in my prospective project.”

    “It was a really engaging course, and I learned a new tools to help facilitate building collaborative ToCs with partners.”

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  • Facilitating Lesson Learning and a focus on Development Results for ILO projects supporting 4 million refugees in Turkey

    18 July 2022
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    Turkey currently hosts over 3.6 million Syrian refugees and an estimated 400,000 from other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Working alongside other UN Organisations, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is doing all it can to support these refugees with language and skills training and relevant employment projects and programmes.

    Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) conducted two consecutive workshops for ILO staff in Ankara, Turkey to help improve the quality and results focus of ILO projects/programmes facilitate the enabling of lesson learning around these.

    Welcoming participants, the workshop organiser Özge Berber Agtas (ILO Senior Programme Officer) said:

    “It was good to do the two online training courses with CIDT but it’s great to finally have these face-to-face workshops. We have had a pandemic and have been waiting a long time – we very much welcome Phil back to ILO Ankara!”

    The workshops covered Monitoring, Review, Evaluation and Lesson Learning (MRELL) and Results Based Management (RBM). The first workshop was attended by 18 ILO staff, all of whom had successfully completed CIDT’s MEL online course prior to the training.

    The face-to-face workshop aimed to enable participants to appreciate the value of a Positive, Open Lesson Learning Organisational Culture (POLLOC) within their own institutional/organisational context and build appropriate M, R & E frameworks into Projects and Programmes and use them for adaptive management

    Participants said: “The prerequisite online training course was very helpful to us all”, and “I also liked the engaging and participatory approach of the trainer during the face-to-face workshop”.

    The second Results Based Management (RBM) workshop was attended by 12 ILO staff, providing a ‘refresher’ on key concepts of RBM and their practical application. It included a focus on the ‘Results Chain’; Reporting on Results/Performance (Results Based Language); Linkages between Projects, Programmes and the Sustainable Development Goals, Project and Programme Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change.

    Participants especially valued the materials provided for the workshop, “Very helpful and detailed handbook that will be very useful in the future”; and the engaging and skills of the trainer: “The trainer moved us from theory to practice through the group work exercises”, “The group work was really helpful”, “The trainer was very successful in keeping levels of motivation”.

    Photo gallery

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  • Reflecting on the use of logical frameworks and theories of change at the Midlands Evaluation Showcase

    14 February 2022
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    Head of CIDT Philip Dearden was recently invited to present at the UK Midlands Regional Evaluation Network Showcase celebrating evaluations and evaluators across the Midlands.

    In his session Phil shared some reflections on the use of Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change in International Development work.  His presentation can viewed below.

    The showcase sessions covered: evaluating social, economic and other benefits of initiatives in the Midlands region and evaluating national and international policies and programmes from the Midlands.

    Other speakers at the showcase event included:

    • Professor Nick Henry, Coventry University and James Brown, University of Warwick
    • Professor Laura Caulfield, Director of the Institute for Community Research and Development (ICRD), University of Wolverhampton.
    • Oliver Allies, Wavehill Social and Economic Research.
    • Professor Mike Thelwall, Professor of Data Science, Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, University of Wolverhampton.

    Their presentations can be viewed in the full event recording. 

    Winning Moves’ Karl King and Michelle Hollier supported the sessions through hosting and chairing the event.

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  • So what is ‘Theory of Change’ anyway?

    10 January 2022
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    Staff of the Programming and Evaluation Support Unit of the Conflict Prevention Centre (PESU-CPC), in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) spent several days engaging with this question. PESU deliver regular project management training across the organisation and assure the quality of project design, so there was plenty of experience and lessons to share.

    Training on Theory of change or ‘ToC’ was facilitated by CIDT’s Ella Haruna. The ToC approach encourages stakeholders to debate how an initiative can best produce desirable outcomes by asking them to make explicit connections between the different components of how a programme works (Weiss.) There is no standard format for a ToC, it is no “magic bullet’ (Vogel) and has even been called ‘a logframe on steroids’ (Ortiz). However in the words of Patricia Rogers:

    Every programme is packed with beliefs, assumptions and hypotheses about how change happens… Theory of Change is about articulating these many underlying assumptions about how change will happen in a programme.

    Participants appreciated the tailored approach to training and the opportunities for interactive exchange between colleagues:

    • The training was tailor-made to reflect on the experience and knowledge of the participants with active engagement of the audience
    • Very tailored approach to the needs of the group; excellent facilitator; interactive course which used different tools to keep the Zoom setting not too tiring
    • Creating space for discussion on how we do things in our unit. Putting our methodological choices on the spot, learning how others do things.

    The OSCE is comprised of 57 participating States working together on politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects of security. Security relates to many aspects of the way we live and are governed, ranging from conflict prevention to fostering economic development, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, and promoting the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. OSCE activities include arms control, security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.

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  • CIDT helps facilitate a new Decent Work Country Strategy for the ILO in Albania

    29 November 2021
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    Head of CIDT Philip N. Dearden supported an intensive Results Based Management (RBM), Monitoring, and Evaluation (M&E) workshop held in Tirana, Albania from 17-18 November 2021 as an integral part of the formulation of a new International Labour Organisation (ILO) Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP). Thirty-five representatives from the Albanian Government, Trade Unions, Employers Organisations, and the ILO attended the workshop.

    The workshop aimed to provide a refresher on RBM and M&E and practically apply key concepts as part of the formulation of a new Decent Work Country Programme for Albania.

    The workshop gathered ideas and built consensus around the national decent work programme, feeding into the draft e DWCP framework for the next four years. By design, this framework aligns well with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-26 for Albania.

    The first draft DWCP will be developed into a full and detailed strategic plan through a series of agreed participatory actions over the next three months.

    Specific topics covered in the intensive multi-stakeholder workshop were:

    • The rationale for results measurement and the ‘results chain’
    • Seven simple planning steps and seven key questions to ask
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to the formulation of a DWCP
    • Practical monitoring, review and evaluation tools

    Feedback on all major aspects of the workshop design and delivery was very positive. Many participants commented on how much they had enjoyed the face to face workshop and on the practical value to their work. Comments received included:

    • I appreciate all the concepts we learned about the step-by-step drafting of strategic documents, through defining in a concrete and detailed way the relevant outcomes and indicators under specific priorities.
    • The concepts around the green economy and green jobs are very new and we are interested to learn further on the green economy concept.
    • Very clear concepts on strategic planning which will assist us in our work.
    • Cooperation among the participants. Friendly and encouraging environment for critical thinking.
    • The whole process of active listening, respecting everyone’s ideas and reaching an agreement on issues of common interest should be highlighted.
    • Excellent efforts to agree decisions. All good things. The manual.
    • Very intensive and very useful seminar.
    • The seminar methodology was “Unique”.

    A few photographs of the workshop

    Markus Pilgrim, Director, ILO DWT Budapest opening the workshop

    Mr Ardit Kaja, Director General, State Labour and Social Services Inspectorate, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ms Zhulieta Harasani, ILO National Coordinator for Albania, Ms Fiona McCluney UNRC, UN and Ms Bora Muzhaqi, Minister, Ministry of Youth all spoke at the opening ceremony before Philip Dearden, the facilitator, started the practical activities of the workshop.


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  • The Serbian Trade Union movement is at a crossroads – CIDT facilitates strategic planning through an intensive virtual support

    16 June 2021
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    The trade union movement in Serbia is currently at a crossroads. It faces declining memberships, challenges in securing trade union rights, and technological and economic changes which affect the nature and type of jobs. For the unions to become stronger and more representative, the old ways of working need to change.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has led to further change in the external environment in which trade unions operate, and the movement needs to revisit how to support members and adapt their operations in order to be efficient and fit for purpose.

    Working through a virtual delivery mode, Head of CIDT, Philip Dearden supported a Results Based Management (RBM) workshop as an integral part of the development of a new strategy by the CATUS Forestry Trade Union in Serbia. The workshop was sponsored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and brought together 25 key Trade Union members, in Belgrade alongside ILO staff members and several key speakers.

    Workshop approach

    The key learning objective of the workshop was to examine the key concepts of RBM and apply these in the development of a new strategy for the Autonomous Trade Union of Forestry and Wood-Processing Industry Workers of Serbia. As a result of the workshop, the longer term strategic impact, outcome and outputs were developed as   a results framework. Key indicators were also developed so that the essential monitoring of strategic progress can be undertaken over the next few years.

    The framework will be further developed into a full and detailed strategy entitled “A Trade Union equipped for the Future” by a series of agreed participatory actions over the next few months.

    The recently published ILO working paper Trade Unions in the Balance presented by Rafeel Peels of the ILO proved to be a good starting point for this discussion. This paper authored by Jelle Visser describes the current situation of the trade union movement, its key challenges, and four possible scenarios for the future of trade unions:  “marginalization”, “dualization”, “replacement”, or “revitalization”. The paper discusses ways trade unions can achieve revitalization, the preferred strategy that the Serbian forestry trade union.

    International experience on the recent modernization of Trade Unions in Austria, was shared by Christian Folzer and Martina Schneller, illuminating suggestions for further positive action.

    Specific topics covered in the intensive workshop were:

    • Current concepts of results based management and their relevance to the Union,
    • A strategic planning framework structured around seven simple planning steps,
    • Undertaking a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis,
    • The development of a clear short and long term objective for the Forestry Union using the Results Chain
    • The development of relevant key indicators to measure strategic change and practical monitoring, review and evaluation tools.

    The workshop was  opened and closed by Jovan Protic, National Coordinator, ILO Serbia; Magnus Berge, ILO Sr Worker Specialist, Central and Eastern Europe; and Zoran Radoman, President of the CATUS Forestry Union.

    Video from the workshop

    Screen shots of some of the participants and presenters:

    The workshop being closed by Magnus Berge, ILO Sr Worker Specialist, Central and Eastern Europe and Zoran Radoman, President of the CATUS Forestry Union. 


































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  • Action learning engages stakeholders in Suriname’s Energy sector

    28 April 2021
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    Global goals

    CIDT is facilitating a one-year action learning process within the Suriname Electricity Company (EBS) to introduce tools and methods for a structured stakeholder engagement process. The project is part of a Caribbean Development Bank-supported drive to strengthen social and environmental safeguards and contribute to quality service delivery.

    Project managers at EBS are familiar with dealing with internal government stakeholders. However stakeholder engagement as a structural approach to results-based project management is a different ball game for this state-owned private company.

    Power sector planning decisions are complex. They cannot be solved by a single government agency, institution, or interest group. Stakeholders can directly affect the successful outcome of power-sector projects when proactively engaged via transparent and regular communications. Addressing stakeholder concerns early in the project cycle can help avoid obstacles and save valuable time and money.

    Mr Eyndhoven, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) has said:

    “at EBS we recognise that our decisions and actions in conducting our work impact a wide variety of individuals, companies, and organisations. Consultation and feedback from our stakeholders will help us make better decisions, improve our operations and processes’ transparency and predictability, and build widespread societal and customer confidence in our business.”

    Wouter Hijweege

    Wouter Hijweege

    Due to Covid restrictions, CIDT’s Dutch associate Mr Wouter Hijweege used online training and coaching methods, developing a bespoke EBS guideline and handbook on stakeholder engagement.

    As the CTO explained:

    “Increasingly, effective and meaningful stakeholder engagement is essential to fulfilling EBS’ role to provide clean energy to all Suriname citizens. It allows our citizens and customers to become informed and also influence what we do”.

    Such engagement also forms part of Suriname’s ambitions in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this way, EBS is also contributing to achieving goal no 7: Affordable and clean energy.

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  • Online workshop supports development of the Moldova Decent Work Country Programme

    12 January 2021
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    In December 2020, Philip Dearden supported an online workshop in Results Based Management (RBM) and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) as an integral part of the formulation of a new Decent Work Country Programme for Moldova. The workshop was sponsored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and in attendance were 23 key representatives from the Government of Moldova, Trade Unions, Employers Organisations and the ILO.

    One key aspect of the workshop was to link the DWCP ‘upwards’ to the United Nations Partnership Framework (PFSD). This medium-term strategy and planning document articulates the collective vision and response of the United Nations system to national development priorities and details activities to be implemented in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Moldova, in close cooperation with international and national partners and civil society.

    Following the online workshop, results frameworks for the three key priority areas of the DWCP for the next three years in Moldova were developed. These were:

    • Inclusive and Productive Employment for Youth
    • Better Protection at Work
    • Improved Social Dialogue

    These frameworks will be further developed into a full and detailed DWCP by a series of agreed participatory actions over the next few months.

    Keeping virtual workshops engaging

    CIDT employs a participatory, practical approach in our workshops. Despite the challenges of working virtually, we are still able to be effective in this approach. Feedback on the workshop design and delivery was very positive with many participants commenting on how valuable the practical nature of the work was to their work in developing the DWCP:

    “Good friendly approach and many useful explanations.”

    “Positive interactive discussions.”

    “The active involvement really helps our understanding.”

    “The 7 key steps outlined are very useful.”

    “The problem definition and problem trees were really helpful in clarifying what we need to do.”

    “My understanding of how to develop indicators has improved dramatically.”

    The learning objectives of the ILO sponsored workshop were to provide a refresher on key concepts of RBM and M&E and practice their practical application as part of the formulation of a new Decent Work Country Programme for Moldova. Specific topics covered in the intensive multi-stakeholder workshop were:

    • The rationale for results measurement and the ‘results chain’
    • Seven simple planning steps and seven key questions to ask
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to key areas of intervention
    • Practical monitoring, review and evaluation tools

    Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) promote decent work as both a key component of development policies and as a national policy objective of governments and social partners. The Moldova DWCP represents a medium-term planning framework that guides the work of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in a country in accordance with priorities and objectives agreed upon with its tripartite constituents.

    Below you can view some screenshots of some of the work undertaken.










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  • Facilitating strategic planning for the American Forest Foundation, online!

    30 November 2020
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    Video conferencing

    For more than three-quarters of a century, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) has helped family forest owners care for their land. Following this long history as a grant-making industry association the American Forest Foundation is currently in transition towards ways of working which are financially sustainable and achieve impact at scale. CIDT supported with a results-based planning approach leading to a simple, coherent and consistent analytical framework to underpin the planning of each work-stream.

    Pre-Covid19, such support may have been provided via a facilitated face-to-face workshop. However, in this new era of virtual engagement, thirty hours of planning workshops were facilitated online with the use of virtual flipcharts, polling and breakout rooms.

    CIDT’s Ella Haruna supported this series of facilitated collaborative workshops to support two AFF teams to develop their value proposition. The Biodiversity team is working to increase the number of landowners across the South actively and sustainably managing their forests, and the Western team is working to reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the West.

    The US South’s forests rank at the top of the world in terms of biodiversity and number of wildlife species. More than 500 wildlife species are at-risk due to years of conversion of forests to non-forest uses, fragmented waterways, and an influx of invasive species.

    In the West, frequent droughts and over grown forests are causing catastrophic wildfires, which strain forested watersheds and the water supply that comes from them. Protecting clean water is an urgent and pressing issue, with healthy forests acting as a natural water filter and storage system.

    By the end of the facilitated suite of workshops, the Biodiveristy and Western teams of AFF had:

    • been introduced to a suite of simple tools for results-oriented product design
    • identified the stakeholders in product design and the core focal problem to be addressed
    • analysed the root causes and effects of the focal problem and reframed these as solutions
    • used a range of objective criteria to scope out and prioritise strategic options
    • scoped out the ‘results chain’ and identified the risks to success and how these can be mitigated
    • identify success criteria (performance indicators) and independent sources of evidence (means of verification)

    Faced with growing threats to US forests, it is more important than ever that family woodland owners actively steward their land and protect our nation’s forest heritage. In collaboration with partners, AFF employs a number of strategies, programs and tools that help overcome the barriers to forest stewardship and engage more forest owners in conservation impact on the ground.

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  • Supporting the RNLI to chart a course for results

    30 November 2020
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    Most people are unaware that drowning causes the death of over 320,000 people globally every year (World Health Organisation 2017) leading WHO to label drowning as a ‘silent epidemic’. The RNLI International Department seeks to ensure that drowning prevention becomes a higher priority and better resourced in areas of the world with the greatest drowning burden.  Responding to this objective, they have developed two country programme strategies for engagement in Tanzania, Bangladesh and a third programme working towards global influence.

    CIDT has a long-term agreement with the RNLI International Department to strengthen capacity and CIDT’s Ella Haruna has been supporting the team to embed Project Cycle Management and Results-Based Management approaches in a number of ways.

    Over several months, we have provided technical assistance to firstly, develop the results framework for each programme and secondly, develop supporting frameworks for programme Monitoring Evaluation and Learning.

    • A results framework clearly articulates programme objectives at different levels, identifies risks and assumptions and explains how to measure and seek evidence for change.
    • A MEL framework is a very practical tool that elaborates what data will be collected, by who, when and the costs involved to support this.

    We also worked closely with the team to revise and review the International theory of change, to ensure that it articulates logic behind RNLI’s programme approach and that it reflects the theories of change in each programme. A results framework was also developed to measure the strategic outcomes at the Department level, with key performance indicators drawn up from the programme level in a technique known as ‘nesting’ of results.

    • A theory of change explores how we expect change to happen, through our project activities, in an existing situation. It shows the big picture with all possible, and complex, pathways.
    • Nested results is when results interlock or mesh at different levels, like ‘Russian dolls’ aligning results for the individual, team, project, programme, institution etc.

    Russian dolls

    Image: Matryoshka doll or babushka dolls, stacking dolls, are a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another

    If you would like to learn more about Theory of Change, Results Frameworks or Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Frameworks then you may be interested in CIDT’s self-paced online learning courses.

    CIDT elearning portal


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