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LPRR: action learning research

In order for productive learning to occur within the context of this project, monitoring practices must be robust and go beyond collecting data against indicators. This is especially important within a resilience context, as the pre-emptive baseline measurement that is usually used for measuring progress/success is not desirable here. Instead, an ‘outcome harvesting’ approach is more practical, as it does not measure progress towards predetermined outcomes or objectives, but rather collects evidence of what has been achieved, and works backward to determine whether and how the project or intervention contributed to the change. Within the LPRR project there is a need for rigorous evaluation, which balances accountability and learning. Given the ever-evolving evidence base of ‘what works under what conditions’ coupled with the need to demonstrate quality, impactful programming in both upwards and downwards accountability, these types of robust evaluations are essential. In order to ensure learning and accountability are achieved through evaluations, they must be well-planned and budgeted for. This is where the role of the learning strand comes in; by recognising that learning is essential at the outset, it enables it to be included within the design of the project.

Picture Power: Understanding impact through a community lens

Since 2011, members of Kalawani community, Makueni County in lower eastern Kenya, have been working with Christian Aid and our partner ADS Eastern on a PPA-funded Thriving Resilient Livelihoods programme. The aim of the programme is to empower communities to identify and address the risks and problems that prevent them making the most of opportunities to develop. Through the programme, the community is addressing issues of disaster linked to water shortages and drought, climate change, food shortages, lack of employment and income generating opportunities, water-related conflict, environmental degradation and a range of social issues including lack of women’s empowerment, low levels of education and high levels of poor health and disease.