Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Woman stands at pedestal, presenting to conference

We are thematic specialists with Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) expertise in the areas of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI); security, justice and peacebuilding; Gender-Based Violence (GBV); governance, voice and accountability; inclusive economic development, education; infrastructure and safeguarding.  

Our MERL work has a particular focus on social and gender analysis and measuring social transformational outcomes such as empowerment and accountability, institutional transformation, social capital and inclusion. As GESI experts, we strive to be non-extractive, participatory and accountable to the communities and clients we work with. Our team of in-house experts provide expertise in participatory and inclusive approaches to MERL grounded in feminist principles and intersectional analysis.  

We collaborate with clients and our partners to inform our approach, selecting the right mix of methods to respond to the specific context and evaluation, research or monitoring purpose and questions. We can offer qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research capability, with particular expertise in using qualitative and participatory approaches. Our work is used to inform decision-making by donor agencies, recipient governments, foundations, and civil society organisations on issues relating to policy making, programme design and implementation, levels of investment and performance management. 

Our offer on MERL:

  • SDDirect can offer support to the development and implementation of inclusive and participatory MERL systems – designing inclusive MEL frameworks, and inputting into logframes and results frameworks 

  • SDDirect has technical experience in leading research, reviews and evaluations employing participatory approaches and methods, including using the Washington Group questions in data collection methods and tools 

  • SDDirect can provide support in the development of safeguarding and ethics considerations for MERL 

  • SDDirect has a strong track record in managing high quality Helpdesks and the production of learning and evidence products for varied audiences.

If you would like to hear more about our work on MERL, please reach out to Alix Clark, Senior Technical Specialist, at Alix.Clark@sddirect.org.uk

Joint Evaluation of the UN Joint Programme on Aids on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls

Assessing the Joint Programme's accountability to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and address the bi-directional nature of VAWG and HIV (where VAWG can be an indirect/direct factor for increased HIV risk, and HIV status and disclosure can lead to violence).

Towards more inclusive and feminist approaches in evaluation of HIV programming - transforming principles into practice

In 2020, Social Development Direct was contracted by UNAIDS Evaluation Office to conduct an evaluation of the Joint Programme’s work on addressing the linkages between HIV and VAWG – where violence can be an indirect and direct factor for increased HIV risk for women and girls, and violence can be an outcome of HIV status and disclosure.  Coinciding with the launch of the evaluation report, this learning brief shares reflections on how the evaluation took steps to mean

Joint evaluation of the UN Joint Programme on Aids on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls

Assessing the Joint Programme's accountability to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and address the bi-directional nature of VAWG and HIV (where VAWG can be an indirect/direct factor for increased HIV risk, and HIV status and disclosure can lead to violence).