evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘project design’

USAID: Nutrition Program Design Assistant: A Tool for Program Planners

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on July 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

from Core Group web site



The Nutrition Program Design Assistant is a tool to help organizations design the nutrition component of their community-based maternal and child health, food security, or other development program.

The tool focuses on prevention and also provides guidance on recuperative approaches that are needed when there is a high prevalence of acute malnutrition.

The tool has two components:

(1) a reference guide for understanding the nutrition situation and identifying and selecting program approaches, and

(2) a workbook to record information, decisions, and decision-making rationale.

The workbook is available as a pdf or Word file, and includes a separate Excel file with adaptable templates to use as needed for data collection and developing a Logical Framework.

NPDA Reference Guide [PDF]  NPDA Workbook [PDF]  NPDA Workbook [WORD]  NPDA Workbook [EXCEL]

Learning how programs achieve their impact: Embedding theory-driven process evaluation and other program learning mechanisms in Alive & Thrive

In Under-nutrition on September 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm

by Rawat, Rahul; Nguyen, Phuong H.; Ali, Disha; Saha, Kuntal; Alayon, Silvia; Kim, Sunny S.; Ruel, Marie; Menon, Purnima

from Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 34, Supplement 2, September 2013, pp. 212S-225S(14)


Background. Traditionally, impact evaluations have focused primarily on answering what impact programs or interventions have, with less attention to how or why impacts are achieved, or not achieved. The Alive & Thrive initiative, a 6-year program that aims to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices and reduce stunting in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, has a specific objective to generate learning on how to achieve and replicate Alive & Thrive’s impact.

Objective. In Alive & Thrive, theory-driven process evaluation methods are the primary mechanism through which data are generated to address this objective. This paper focuses on the different methodological approaches that are being utilized, to answer the critical “how” questions, and to generate information on the many processes and pathways to program impact.

Methods. We identify four key principles in our methodological approach that guides all process evaluation activities: 1) developing detailed program impact pathway (PIP) models, 2) linking data collection to PIPs utilizing mixed methods and multiple data sources, 3) linking evaluation activities with program implementation timelines, and 4) engaging with the program implementation and management teams.

Results. Beginning with the launch of the program, we outline the steps that have been taken in the design and implementation of the process evaluations of Alive & Thrive, and provide examples of how these steps have been operationalized in different country contexts.

Conclusions. This theory-driven and country- and component-specific approach, centered on careful analysis of PIPs, is intended to generate information on implementation and utilization pathways of Alive & Thrive’s interventions, thereby answering the questions of how impacts are achieved, or why not. This evaluation approach is not without challenges, and we highlight some of these key challenges.

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