Hello all, I am a monitoring and evaluation practitioner, currently associated with a reputed national NGO, and I have more than 15 years of experience in the development sector. During this journey, I have collaborated with multiple research/evaluation agencies to execute research or evaluation-related activities.
Working with an agency is not always a cakewalk as I have mixed experience with them. In our sector, we primarily recruit agencies for two main reasons – 1) to ensure the external validity of the assessment and 2) to fill the resource gap in executing such studies, as NGOs usually don’t have such a workforce in-house.
Based on my experience, to work with agencies smoothly/effectively, I am jotting down a few points that need to be considered. These may sound very common but trust me; I didn’t come across any such compilation.
Before finalising the agency -
After selecting the agency -
During data collection -
During data analysis –
On receiving the draft report –
I hope these points are helpful and practical to adapt.
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This is very useful information! Thank you!
We're actually looking at agencies to work with for a potential tool validation, so this is perfect timing! Very useful, thank you.
I agree with this point "Please ask the agency for the raw dataset and analysis file/do file (STATA) / SPSS syntax. Please validate and run them on a sample basis. It will ensure the quality of data analysis." because I have had an experience where I witnessed that the data was not being collected correctly, and having this point in the ToRs helped bring up the issue.
I would also like to share that, in my experience, participating in (some of) the data collection process itself was very interesting for me and for the agency, and gave me more information to review the analysis. Of course, this takes time, but it still worth it if you can only be there for a couple of days.
Thank you so much for posting this Ritesh, really useful!
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