During the last f2f in 2011, a working group with members from SDC and partners from Switzerland and in different countries started to work on a set of common outcome indicators (COIs) for VSD programs. At this f2f, a draft version of the instrument was presented (see presentation) which explained the four indicators: gainful employment, systemic change, relevance of training as well as outreach and scale. Each of these indicators is defined and illustrated with practical proxy indicators for measurement. The draft version has been tested by the Employment Fund in Nepal. Based on this feedback, last adjustments will be done and after that the participants of this year's f2f are encouraged to have a look at the instrument and test the instrument so that it will be available for everyone by the end of 2013. This COIs have a clear benefit for different actors: Firstly, for SDC because it can improve to give an account internally but also towards parliament and taxpayers regarding expenses and project impacts. Secondly, for the actual project implementers in the field as it helps them to get a more holistic view and to measure the significant components contributing to the outcomes. Thirdly, it has a benefit for the local national governments, as politicians are enabled to monitor the achievements that were promised by project.
Since the last f2f in 2011, a general assessment of the results framework was done and the results of the assessment were shown (see presentation) at this year's f2f. An analysis of the 13 proxy indicators covering the 4 VSD outcome indicators has shown that the results framework is an important instrument for cooperation strategies regarding alignment and harmonisation with other donors. Furthermore, the tool also helps to think through the activities and enables to show the results of the projects within SDC and to partners. 80% of the results framework analysed is well done. The rest needs improvement especially in formulating outcome statements by focusing on outcome level (not output or activity level) and on risks and assumptions. It was suggested to establish a joint learning project, which will address proposals on how to improve the quality of the results framework.
Work in Progress – During recent years much has been discussed on strengthening extension and advisory support to rural communities but less is known about how to build the needed capacities with extension and advisory services (see presentation). The three networks Education, Food Security & Agriculture and e+i are all working with a slightly different perspective on education in rural contexts. The group discussed on potential fields for collaboration. The focal points from the three networks will elaborate a proposal for potential joint learning and for concrete collaboration between them to use synergies on programme and policy levels.