A Guide to Support Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning: Integrating Adaptive Programming with Theory of Change

December 2019

Development professionals work in complex, constantly changing environments. How do we learn and adapt in order to navigate them and achieve our mission?

This handbook sets out our approach to adaptive programming. It outlines how we can use adaptive programming principles to:

  • plan and design learning-oriented initiatives
  • monitor progress (both for accountability and learning)
  • manage adaptively in response to change, evidence and opportunity.

The guide is structured around six components that we see as critical to supporting planning, monitoring, evaluating and learning through an adaptive programming approach. The authors use Theory of Change to help structure the design and management process, on the basis of an absolute commitment to ongoing context analysis and learning-driven decision making. The authors have found that developing a Theory of Change supports a more robust design process, as it identifies key assumptions and provides a point around which adaptations can be made.

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