The CEDARS Center / SHOUT Group Blog

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Systems Approaches to Development Planning and Evaluation: Fad, Reinvention of the Wheel, or Necessity?

Everywhere you turn these days, there are discussions of ‘systems approaches’, ‘complexity’, ‘holism’ and ‘holistic approaches’.  And that’s not just in global health, that’s in development and sustainable development, that’s in food security and livelihoods, that’s in evaluation.

What is this all about? 

Are people just bored with inputs-outputs, and looking for a different flavor? 

Here’s how I figure we got to where we are, and I’ll attempt a conclusion on the fad vs. necessity debate... [Read more in this light-hearted discussion paper, which also provides a substantial number of interesting references (2,000 words)...]

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How the Family Planning Sustainability Checklist Helped Identify FP Challenges in Ethiopia

Last fall, a blog post by Sharon Arscott-Mills introduced the new Family Planning Sustainability Checklist, a tool that helps project designers, implementers, and evaluators ensure long-term sustainability for their community-based family planning program. Now, Adrienne Allison describes World Vision's recent use of this tool in the field in her blog entry titled, "How the Family Planning Sustainability Checklist Helped Identify FP Challenges in Ethiopia".
Several points from Adrienne’s blog are summarized here:

  • The Checklist was used as part of a family planning workshop with Ministry of Health and World Vision staff in rural Ethiopia.
  • The Checklist guided participants to think through issues and questions they had not considered before.
  • The WV team recommends the use of the community mobilization module as being particularly useful to elucidate divergent views between male and female community members. 
  • The availability of the checklists in two formats (1) by Health Care Providers and (2) by Program Elements was also found to be useful and provided more flexibility.
  • The Checklist assisted the WV team to pinpoint needed FP activities that could be immediately integrated into existing programs. 

View Adrienne's full blog entry on the Knowledge for Health (K4H) blog.