Project Profile

Evaluation of SIDA Civil Society Strategy

Client // SIDA - Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency
Country // Global
Date // 2015

A consortium of three organisations, including International Organisation Development (IOD PARC, UK), the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU), and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK)  carried out a two-year evaluation of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency's (Sida's) civil society strategy, as implemented by Swedish framework CSOs and their national partners.

The evaluation utilised the Reality Check Approach.

The purpose of the evaluation was: "To find out if, how and why/why not the support to civil society actors in developing countries via Swedish CSOs has contributed to the overall objectives of the support by creating conditions to enable poor and discriminated people to improve their living conditions and quality of life. The focus of the evaluation should be on learning aspects."

Using the Reality Check Approach, the evaluation team lived with the same poor and marginalised families for 3-5 days, twice, over two-year period.  They did this to better understand their daily realities, perceptions, survival strategies and expectations of civil society and government. No formal interviews were done: we lived in their homes, listened, observed, conversed and shared in daily activities.

The team later compared and contrasted these realities with the activities and theories of change of civil society groups and other actors at the local and national levels, assessing the relevance, alignment and feasibility of the Swedish civil society strategy.

The final Synthesis Report and the Country Reports are published on Sida's publication website.

The Team Leader Jethro Pettit has also published a blog on the IDS website: http://www.ids.ac.uk/opinion/citizen-engagement-time-for-a-reality-check

The IOD PARC team member was Sadie Watson