Module 4: Assessing wider system change

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Ways of capturing wider system change

There are a number of different ways to capture change in the wider system. 

It is important to revisit the diagnosis of the market system undertaken at the design stage on an incremental but continual basis. In this context it is important not just to update past analysis, but also to consider how the wider environment has developed. 

Front line programme staff are commonly in a position to gain important insights about how the programme is working on a daily basis, and what is happening in the market system, so it is also important to capture this knowledge and feed it into review processes. One technique that might be used is to ask implementing staff to complete programme diaries where they write down changes in the local context, problems faced, and engagements with key actors.

It is also important to include beneficiary and other stakeholder perspectives in analysing what is happening. Narrative research for instance uses everyday stories told by various market actors to assess changes in attitudes and norms that guide people’s behaviour. A number of methods are described in Module 9

Where secondary data becomes available, it may complement evidence collected by the programme team. Such sources may include government statistics, or information published by traditional media, such as newspaper reports. 

There may also be emerging opportunities to use ‘big data’. This generic term refers to the huge quantities of digital information that is collected through a wide range of applications. Examples include call logs, mobile-banking transactions, online user-generated content such as blog posts and tweets, online searches, or satellite images. While the use of such data is still in its infancy in the development field, programme teams should be open to its significant potential to cast light on trends.

Big data and evaluation - use and implications

Emerging issues in the management and regulation of big data.

Go to Module 5 next or return to the Monitoring Guidance.

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