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Balancing research and practice in an international NGO

REL Practice Paper 1 Ten Years of Change is a collaborative, long-term practitioner research initiative designed to take place in three countries – Colombia, Kenya and the UK. It is implemented by the Research, Evidence and Learning team at Christian Aid. The research began with the overarching question how are community members and supporters being influenced by, and influencing, processes of social change? Each country team adapted the question to make it relevant to their socio-political context, and designed research at several different levels, from local to national. This paper tells the story of the first three years of Ten Years of Change. It narrates our ideas and ambitions and how we clarified them; how we identified where, by whom and how the study would be implemented; and how we worked with colleagues in other countries to begin to translate our idea into practice. It then discusses the forces that shaped the parallel but distinct evolution of each of the three streams of the study, before reflecting on the challenges of trade-offs and power. It concludes by returning to some of our assumptions about practitioner research, reflecting on how they played out in practice, finally turning to considerations for the next stage of the study.  

Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management

Governance, gender, peace building and human rights Tackling the problems of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion that persist in parts of the world that continue to be affected by violence or political insecurity is difficult for several reasons. For one, because of the complexity of the prevailing social, economic and political systems, solutions to chronic problems are far from obvious. One response to this aspect of the challenge is adaptive programme design and management. This paper, 'Learning to make a difference: Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management in governance, gender, peace building and human rights', is the product of a multi-year collaboration between ODI and the core team of Christian Aid Ireland to assess the relevance of adaptive or trial-and-error approaches to the field of governance, peace building and human rights. It explains the basis on which Christian Aid Ireland’s current five-year programme funded by Irish Aid has become committed to an adaptive approach. It then describes and seeks to draw lessons from the programme’s first year of experience, considering the possible implications for implementation over the coming years.

Humanitarian inclusion standards

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Humanitarian inclusion standards (Arabic)

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Humanitarian inclusion standards (French)

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Good practice guide

This good practice guide has been developed as part of the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. This guide shares good practices and challenges that have emerged through the experience of the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP) implementing partners, in embedding inclusion of older people and people with disabilities within their humanitarian policies and practices.

Kenya: a closer look at older age and disability in health programming

Christian Aid’s PPA programme looks at reaching the most vulnerable through health care interventions. Here we share some case studies from Kenya.

Picture Power: Capturing stories of change through photography in Kenya

This report features incredible stories of changes and challenges that the communities captured in photos that they took in their communities as well as data gathered as part of the wider outcome assessment activities.

Kenya: guide to contribution analysis methods

Contribution analysis was used within a series of theory-based evaluations of Christian Aid’s governance portfolio in 2015, specifically in the Kenya country study.  The approach was used to try to understand and evidence to what extent Christian Aid’s and its partners’ governance approaches has contributed to better health outcomes.  This methodological guide was one of the deliverables of the evaluation and is aimed at Christian Aid staff who are interested in understanding alternative approaches to evaluating governance and other hard-to-measure areas of work.  The guide introduces the theory behind contribution analysis and the practical steps taken in applying the approach during the evaluation in Kenya.  Related resources Kenya: a closer look at older age and disability in health programming

Kenya: health governance (INTRAC) - a theory-based approach

Kenya is one of five country studies carried out as part of an organisational assessment of Christian Aid’s work on accountable governance.

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.