Ground Truth

Improving humanitarian action by making people the focus of program design and performance.


The following are a few examples of our work in designing impact planning, assessment and learning systems for social purpose organisations:

1. Grassroots Business Fund - Jan - May 2009, with ongoing consulting

During 2009, Keystone has supported GBF to make a significant investment in its own evaluation systems, captured in what we believe is a 'best in class' framework called Impact Planning, Assessment and Learning (iPAL) framework.

In addition to developing and staffing their IPAL system, GBF has:

- run a client survey (administered by Keystone) and gathered with their clients in to discuss the results; and published the findings!

- sponsored a public workshop which featured Keystone  -- Metrics from the Ground Up -- and related website to share their learning with their peers and create an ongoing platform for practical exchange.

- supported their clients to undertake their own client surveys. The GBF investees use this end beneficiary data to improve their services and GBF uses the data to understand its downstream impacts.

- championed the cause for a common client survey for social investment funds like them.

2. The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund - Feb-Jun 2009
Keystone worked with the NMCF to facilitate an overall impact planning, assessment and learning (IPAL) framework that will enable the NMCF and its grantee partners to enhance their contribution to sustainable and systemic improvement in the lives of South African children.

The process included a two day workshop facilitated by Keystone at which senior staff and a few invited external stakeholders clarified the overall theory of change of the NMCF, co-designed the IPAL framework and explored how this could contribute to a practical and effective learning partnerships between the NMCF and its constituents for systemic change. 

A follow-up one-day strategy review workshop explored NMCF’s existing strategies in the light of this theory of change and IPAL framework and made recommendations for NMCF’s strategic review process during 2009.
3. ALINe: Agriculture Learning and Impacts Network. Dec 2008 - ongoing
Currently efforts to learn about and plan for impacts of agricultural projects are fractured and of variable quality. The Agriculture Learning and Impacts Network (ALINe) is an attempt to alter this dynamic.

Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ALINe is being developed by the Institute of Development Studies and Keystone Accountability.

ALINe aims to use impact planning, assessment and learning principles to connect, build up, analyse, influence and ultimately transform the ways we assess agricultural development investments.
4. CEDAC Impact Planning and Learning System for Escola que Vale. Sep 2008 - ongoing
CEDAC (Centro de Educação e Documentação para Ação Comunitária) is a civil society organization that runs various educational programmes across Brazil, with the most important in size being the Escola que Vale.

Escola que Vale is a programme ran by CEDAC in partnership with Fundaçao Vale do Rio Doce and Municipal Education Secretariats.

Keystone is assisting CEDAC to develop a system for impact planning, assessment and learning for Escola que Vale that cultivates feedback from the ultimate beneficiaries and other key constituents of the project. Feedback is used to enable staff, donors, and constituents to make improvements in the project. 

5. The WK Kellogg Foundation’s integrated rural development programme. 2007-2008
Keystone worked with the WK Kellogg Foundation’s Program Directors in Southern Africa to develop a theory of change for the programme and put in place a monitoring, learning and knowledge development system for their integrated rural community development programme in nine southern African countries.

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