Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) Data Systems Validation Review
Summary of publication
The ANCP Data Systems Validation Review was undertaken in response to a recommendation from the 2015 evaluation of ANCP by the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE). Key findings of this review are:
- Overall there is relatively robust level of rigour in the output data provided by accredited Australian NGOs (ANGOs) to DFAT through the online portal, ANCP Online. Whilst ANGOs demonstrate variation in their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems, they have all been through accreditation and therefore all have quality assurance systems in place that meet the Australian Government's minimum expectations. Larger NGOs and those with country offices and field teams tend to have greater resources for M&E allocated to sampling, triangulating, in-country missions, and external evaluations.
- A number of lessons arise from the review, leading to the recommendations outlined below. The lessons and recommendations are about the ANCP as a program, and implementation will vary between ANGOs.
Key recommendations of this review are:
- DFAT, in consultation with ANGOs, to review the ANCP Program Logic and Monitoring, Evaluation And Learning Framework (MELF), specifically to:
- increase the emphasis on qualitative outcome indicators that demonstrate instances of significant change,
- reduce the total number of indicators,
- improve reporting against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and
- provide more detailed guidance on indicators, where appropriate, whilst maintaining ANCP's focus on flexibility and working within partner systems.
- DFAT to further facilitate the ANCP Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Reference Group, ensuring that it is convened on a regular basis.
- DFAT, in collaboration with the ANCP MEL Reference group, to revise the disaggregation of data. This could include clearer definitions for disability, and reviewing the need for disaggregation of urban/rural.
- ANGOs to allocate, as appropriate to their situation, more ANCP funding (up to 10%) to M&E to improve the quality of data coming from local partners. DFAT may consider encouraging ANGOs to allocate, at a minimum, 4% of ANCP funding to M&E, to ensure that partners are sufficiently investing in these areas, including management information systems (MIS).
- ANGOs to increase the quality assurance of data provided by their project partners. This could include building capacity of local partners; having increased resources available at country, regional or HQ level; and including data quality assurance/capacity assessments as part of the in-country monitoring missions.