Evaluating programmes

Evaluations are essential to establish credible evidence to show that market systems development can make a difference.

To date, we have curated a series of evaluation synopses covering programmes in Ghana, India, MozambiqueNigeria and Kenya. The synopses describe the methods used for evaluation, the challenges and the lessons learned – by both the programmes and evaluators. They also explain how to evaluate programmes that are adaptive, flexible, and systemic and how evaluation works with the monitoring function of the programme.

These document challenges and aim to aid a better understanding and greater awareness of the characteristics of market systems and how they can be better evaluated. They contribute to a growing recognition among evaluation professionals and donors who mandate evaluations, that there is no single one-size-fits-all method and that evaluation designs need to be adapted to the programme.

Evaluations of programmes using market systems approaches are central to understanding how and under what circumstances these approaches work or not. This is critical to validate current, and justify future, donor investments in the approach.

However, not all programmes applying a market systems development approach are evaluated effectively, chiefly because the aims and characteristics of market systems approaches create particular challenges for evaluation. These include the complex nature of market systems which means system-level change is unpredictable, and the need for adaptability in implementation.

The body of experience in evaluating impact of programmes that use systemic approaches is still young. To accelerate learning, BEAM is working with programmes to showcase current evaluation methods and the lessons about evaluation design that are emerging.

To share your evaluation learnings, successes and challenges, please email evidence@beamexchange.org.