Monitoring and evaluation
Geneva Call operates in changing circumstances where actors shift positions frequently. In order to better plan, monitor and evaluate its programmes, Geneva Call has begun to use Theory of Change methodology.
Theories of Change are an explanation of how and why a set of activities will bring about the changes the project has been designed to achieve. So, they are not academic hypotheses, but rather brief formulations of assumptions that, taken together, explain why and how a project or programme will produce a desired change.
Theories of Change are not intended to be prescriptive, but to map the multiple pathways to reach the overall objective, which is the impact of the action. A Theory of Change situates a programme or project within a wider analysis of how change comes about. It acknowledges the complexity of change: the wider system and actors that influence it.
This enables Geneva Call to articulate the logic behind its work (intervention logic), at both a general and a project-specific level. Applied to Geneva Call’s work, it shows how Geneva Call contributes to changes in armed non-State actors’ (ANSAs) knowledge, attitudes, policies and, ultimately, behaviours – thereby bringing about genuine improvements in conditions for civilians in armed conflict.
It also helps to map a variety of assumptions – such as shifts in political and on-the-ground circumstances – and risks that are inherent in Geneva Call’s projects, minimizing the threat of unintended negative outcomes.
Geneva Call is seeking ways to express its impact and achievements in a manner that is accessible and understandable. In a world that often expects a rapid impact, altering the behaviours of ANSAs is a lengthy process and may not result from one action, but from a series or a critical mass of actions and other external contributory factors. By developing new indicators to assess how its work is progressing, Geneva Call will be able to see trends and make adjustments accordingly.
This approach also responds to the need to adapt to institutional donor requirements, to show results mapped over time and to contribute to internal knowledge and learning.