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The Engendering Change Program (Oxfam)


Multi-national, Global  Show on interactive map

Active from:

Jun 2009 to Jun 2014

Implementing organisation(s):



CIDA, Oxfam Canada

Contact persons:

Kaia Ambrose, Terry Smutylo


Mid-Term Evaluation of "Engendering Change Program"


The Engendering Change program is designed around a Theory of Change, which suggests that partners can become more effective change agents related to Women’s Rights and Gender Equality at the local/community level when their organizational structures, policies, procedures and programming are also more democratic and gender just.

Objectives of the intervention:

- Ultimate outcome: Women will actively advance their rights, improve their status and reduce gender inequality.

- Programme goal: To effectively promote and defend women’s rights, gender equality and to secure improvements in the lives of women.

- Programme objective: To contribute to capacity of women’s organizations and other civil society organizations to defend and promote women’s rights, priorities and interests and to advance gender equality.

Why was OM chosen?

OM (alongside with Most Significant Change) has been used for a mid-term evaluation. The MTLR was comprised of three workshops with partner organizations - one three-day workshop in each region (Workshop 1 - South Africa; 2 - Ethiopia; 3 - Nicaragua). These workshops were intended to:

1. Produce strong and quality data that will provide sufficient evidence to assess Oxfam Canada’s Engendering Change program. Specifically, responding to the key evaluation questions and objectives:
a. Is the model of Capacity Building effective in the EC program? If so (not), how and why?
c. How do stronger, more gender-just organizations do better, more effective programming?
b. What do strong, effective and gender just organizations look like?
2. Support and strengthen partners’ ability to identify and monitor changes in organizational capacity on gender equality and women’s rights;

3. Create an action-oriented, participatory monitoring and evaluation space for EC partners.

The evaluation team tried to make it infuse adult education concepts/formats in each workshop. An overview was given of OM & MSC and some OM concepts and tools were used.

How was OM used?

Evaluation (Integrated into the Mid-Term Learning Review)

What was the experience of using OM?

"What I like particularly is the contribution analysis and this has worked very well. We see our partners as autonomous organisations in a complex environment so it is impossible to measure cause & effect. OM embraces this complexity. It allows us to strategically and realistically document our contribution to change.

OM helps people to think about evaluation differently: The OM concept of outcomes helps people to think about evaluation differently. It does not handcuff workshop participants to our theory of change and tests some of our operating hypotheses. “People respond well to a focus on stories and not semantics e.g. when there is talk about indicators and “evaluation-speak” people get lost but if you focus on stories and questions e.g. if your programme was really successful what would it look like” it focuses on stories not semantics. People respond well to stories.

For us it has allowed us to broaden our performance narrative – test our theory of change--that it is fundamental for Oxfam Canada to support partners to develop their own internal organizational capacities related to Women's Rights and Gender Equality in order for their programming to be more Gender Just with their beneficiaries and constituencies--- and to test some of our operating hypotheses in a way that was dynamic and vibrant.

We did present our approach to capacity building but we did not want them to use our words so we could test our assumptions. Some information reinforces our ToC but some alludes to the need to change our ToC.

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Latin America & Carribean Sub-Saharan Africa North Africa & Middle East South Asia South East Asia & Pacific Far-East Asia Eastern Europe & CIS (ex USSR) Western Europe North America & Canada Australasia