So What?

Happy New Year-ish! APEP’s “So What?” Back in Action

January 10, 2014

We’re Back! Let’s Begin 2014 with a Little Complexity

If you’re a regular “So What?” reader, you know we like to write about complexity (it’s our very chewy bread and butter!). We’re constantly in the look-out for potentially effective approaches to evaluating programs with complex components. So what better way to start the year than with this lucid and pithy note produced by USAID consultant Heather Britt: “Complexity-Aware Monitoring.” Britt describes five methods evaluators (at USAID and beyond) can use to tackle the challenge of complexity. Check out this page for instructions on how to offer feedback on this document.

Advocating for Evaluation

We often come across tools and resources designed to help advocates push for a policy issue, whatever that may be. But what if your issue is really the meaningful and strategic use of evaluations in decision-making? As people who value the insights gained from evaluations, how do we effectively create and nurture (buzzword coming…) a “culture of evaluation”? Here are some answers: UN Women and others have just published “Advocating for Evaluation: A Toolkit to Develop Advocacy Strategies to Strengthen an Enabling Environment for Evaluation.” Through brief case studies and explanations of key strategies, this toolkit walks us through the process of planning and conducting advocacy in support of evaluation.

Tweeting for a Cause

Curious about how to make the most out of Twitter? The online advocacy mavens at have posted some good advice on using Twitter for advocacy. Although they focus primarily on political campaigns, practically all of their tips and suggestions also apply to the work of grassroots advocates across policy issues, from choosing the right thing to tweet about to making small “asks” of followers to build your network of supporters. For Twitter novices, the section on engaging the community is especially useful (and honest about the required time investment on the part of advocates). Tweet away, folks!