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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

In 2014, UNICEF headquarters, in collaboration with its East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), took the decision to address certain issues related to the health of women and children by implementing a regional Institutional Strengthening Support Initiative to improve the Programme Monitoring and Response (PMR) capacity of the centralized government decision-making bodies and communities in four countries (Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe).

The ESAR PMR was designed as a learning initiative with the following goals: 1)Improve service provision/program performance during the course of implementation through improved monitoring of intermediate results, establishment of citizen feedback loops, and the use of monitoring and feedback dated to adjust and strategies as needed in a timely manner; and 2) Identify and promote those promising practices of progress monitoring in response, tested and proven by early adopter districts, through the development of national scale-up plans with in participating countries in the establishment of knowledge exchange platforms.

ISG and Development Gateway have been selected to undertake a final evaluation to assess achievement towards the programme’s expected results (milestones, outputs, intermediate outcomes, and primary outcomes) as per the initiatives Results Framework and the extent to which the programme activities have changed how more real time data is collected, analysed, packages, disseminated, and used. The findings will be used to support the further national scale-up of documented effective PMR institutional strengthening interventions in the four participating countries and Guide replication in the other countries in which UNICEF operates. Additionally, the findings will add to the regional and global knowledge base by generating evidence on processes and outcomes related to strengthening decentralized PMR systems in the health and nutrition sectors.

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Plan Germany

Plan Germany

ISG is working with Plan Germany on  Mid-term Evaluation of the Safer Cities for Girls Programme. The overall objective of the Safer Cities for Girls programme is to build accountable, inclusive and safe cities with and for adolescent girls, engaging girls in cities around the world to explore questions around gender inclusions, the right to the city and safe public spaces in cities for girls. The Safer Cities for Girls programme works across three levels of change: i) governments and institutions; ii) families and communities; and, iii) girls and boys themselves. The three overall outcomes of the programme are:  1) Increased girls’ safety and access to public spaces; 2) Increased girls’ active and meaningful participation in urban development and governance; and, 3) Increased autonomous mobility in the city.

The programme seeks to empower girls to claim their rights to actively work to transform their communities into safer, more inclusive places. In doing so, the programme focuses on making policies, laws and programming more inclusive and receptive to adolescent girls’ safety, and increasing the capacity and willingness of local authorities, ministries, and law enforcement to promote girls’ safety. Additionally, Plan is working with girl to increase their capacity to understand their rights and safety in the cities, promoting the participation of girls in local governance and girl-led/girl-inclusive initiatives, and also working with communities and families to help them promote girls’ safety and inclusion in cities.

The purpose of the external evaluation is to inform decision-making on the progress and achievements of the intervention in its specific urban contexts and to develop recommendations for changes, if necessary, resulting in programme improvement. For Plan International and partner organisation staff, it is crucial to know whether the policies and practices are successful or should be revised based on an understanding of the underlying reasons. Data collection will take place in four of the programme cities including Cairo, Delhi, Kampala, Hanoi.

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Plan International

Plan International

ISG is undertaking a research assignment that aims to inform a thematic report to be prepared by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the topic of sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls with disabilities. The research will identify global challenges and trends in the enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health and rights by girls with disabilities, as well as legal and policy responses and good practices for ensuring their full and equal enjoyment of these rights. Based on the information collected and analysed, the research institution, consortium or team will have the main task to produce a detailed research report inclusive of all their findings.

The purpose of the study is to:

1)  Investigate the sexual and reproductive health rights of girls with disabilities, including adolescent girls, to inform the thematic report on this topic by the Special Rapporteur, by reviewing and analysing literature, policy frameworks and existing good practice examples, while identifying barriers, implementation gaps, and other weakness to the full and equal realization of girls with disabilities’ sexual and reproductive health rights

2) Based on the findings from the research, initiate a broad set of policy recommendations which can be used to inform advocacy to realize the full and equal enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls with disabilities.

Data collection consists of a desk review of policies, frameworks, legislation and programming, and  field visits to three countries, Cambodia, Paraguay and Zambia for data collection.

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World Bank

World Bank

ISG, in partnership with DevResults, is working with the the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) to provide monitoring, evaluation and learning support to the Gateway Academy (the Academy) at the World Bank.

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is a global partnership of 34 leading organizations that seek to advance financial inclusion. Staff capacity at financial service providers (FSPs) has long been a challenge for financial inclusion efforts. Without strong staff, FSPs are limited in their ability to innovate and extend their outreach to the nearly 2.5 billion people who are excluded from the formal financial system. New applications of technology are bringing about massive change in the field of professional development and training. These approaches have the potential to dramatically expand the accessibility of high-quality content at a lower cost than traditional training models and thus boost much-needed capacity in the sector.

Gateway Academy is an innovative learning project that will offer both on-line and blended courses and cultivate communities focused on financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Gateway Academy will work with training providers, financial service providers and on-line learning experts to generate high-quality course content, build communities of practice and conduct on-going research to understand user needs.

The goal of the assignment is to develop and roll out a learning agenda that will inform a monitoring, evaluation and learning plan (MEL Plan) for the Academy.  The assignment centers on the organizational design and implementation of an approach to MEL that will measure the impact of the Gateway Academy’s programming and activities through comprehensive monitoring and data collection. This will require a review of the Theory of Change related to the Academy, and CGAP’s organizational capacity to implement a MEL Plan. Additionally, it will require the launch of data collection and training activities that will provide baseline and regular data collection over the course of the Academy’s programming. These activities will, in part, be coordinated through an M&E software system (DevResults) that will facilitate reporting and analysis of the Academy’s programming.

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United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

ISG was recently selected by UNFPA to undertake a “Global Study on Youth and Disability: Ensuring Social Inclusion and Gender Equality to Address Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence”.

This global study will focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender-based violence (GBV), with a particular focus on sexual violence, for adolescents and youth with disabilities (AYWD) ranging from 10-24 years of age. Specifically, the study will provide an analysis of the situation of AYWD with regard to SRHR and GBV to both highlight good practices at the legal, policy, and programming levels as well as identify gaps.

In addition to this analysis, the Research Team will provide detailed policy and programming recommendations to assist UNFPA in building a comprehensive program in this field. Further, it is anticipated that findings of the study may be used for advocacy purposes by governments, civil society, and other relevant actors.

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United Nations Operations (UNOPS)

United Nations Operations (UNOPS)

ISG was selected, in partnership with Development Gateway, to perform research and coordination services for the development of an Innovative Data Toolkit on behalf of the Cities Alliance.

The Cities Alliance is the preeminent global partnership for the promotion of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Headquartered in Brussels, it is a unique partnership with diverse members – local authorities, national governments, international non-governmental organizations, foundations and multi-lateral organizations – which have come together to strengthen both impacts and coherence in urban development.

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United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA has been addressing the needs of women and girls in emergency contexts since its inception, through life-saving reproductive health and protection-focused actions. UNFPA shares the mandate for coordination of gender-based violence (GBV) interventions in non-refugee humanitarian settings with UNICEF, as co-lead of the GBV Area of Responsibility of the Global Protection Cluster. UNFPA’s activities in this space globally, and on the ground in key emergency contexts such as CAR, South Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq, include both program implementation and field-level GBV “sub-cluster” leadership. These efforts link closely with UNFPA’s global leadership on reproductive health in emergencies and its mandate to address the needs of women and adolescent girls worldwide.

ISG was selected to perform an evaluation on how Real-Time Accountability Partnership (RTAP) partners currently work in alignment to deliver on commitments to the strategic-level actions outline in the draft RTAP Action Framework.

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Welcoming America

Welcoming America

ISG was recently selected by Welcoming America (WA) to develop their Monitoring & Evaluation system.

WA works with multiple partners in building more welcoming communities for immigrants and all residents through a vibrant network of local governments and non-profit members. WA’s affiliates and partners use local leadership development, strategic communications, and public engagement to change the dynamic for the better in communities across the US.

With the recent formation of a three-year strategy, the need for a monitoring system became apparent. Therefore, this assignment worked to create a clearly articulated vision for what WA seeks to achieve over the long term, which will be used as the definitive guide for decision-making regarding project, organizational structure, and strategy. In addition, ISG provided WA with the selection of outcomes for each activity undertaken to ensure that they can be readily monitored and help WA move towards fulfilling its vision; develop a monitoring plan for tracking WA’s progress across its activities; and develop an evaluation/analysis plan that can regularly identify gaps and provide recommendations for adjustments as well as provide frequent reporting and communication opportunities.

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

ISG was selected for a study on UNICEF’s experiences, learning, and good practices around coordination transition related to the Education and Nutrition Clusters.

Clusters are groups of humanitarian organizations (UN and non-UN) working in the main sectors of humanitarian action, e.g. shelter and health. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) designates them when clear humanitarian needs exist within a sector, when there are numerous actors within sectors, and when national authorities need coordination support. Clear and well-implemented coordination ensures a common strategic vision, common work planning, shared resources, and contributions according to comparative advantages/organisational strengths. Clusters also create partnerships between international humanitarian actors, national, and local authorities, and civil society. Additionally, Clusters provide a clear point of contact and are accountable for adequate and appropriate humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF is Cluster Lead for Nutrition and co-Lead (with Save the Children) for Education. As such, the purpose of this consultancy was to document country cluster characteristics, experiences, and learning around the transition of humanitarian coordination functions in the Nutrition and Education sectors from externally supported Clusters to nationally managed and sustained platforms. From this basis, practical guidance for both of these sectors, and implications for UNICEF’s approach to transition more generally, were proposed.

The assignment included an in-depth document review of Education and Nutrition Cluster coordination structures and their characteristics; field visits to Pakistan and Palestine for the Education Cluster and to Kenya and the Philippines for the Nutrition Cluster; and an additional six in-depth, desk-based country case studies. The consultancy culminated in the development of guidance and benchmarks for transition of Cluster Functions to nationally led entities in both sectors.

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Opportunities Industrialization Centers International

Opportunities Industrialization Centers International

Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OIC International) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since 1970, OIC International has trained socially and economically underprivileged women, men and youth in the skills they need to transform their lives and their communities.

OICI recently selected ISG to design and implement an operational monitoring and evaluation system to provide OICI with the framework and tools necessary to more effectively monitor project progress, evaluate intervention impact, and analyze and disseminate information to inform the organization’s broader priorities and objectives.