Evaluating participatory planning for urban water infrastructure

This Small Project endeavoured to evaluate the impacts of participatory planning for urban water infrastructure and rural livelihoods adaptation in Indonesia

Two Indonesian projects and partners were the focus: Makassar Sustainable Urban Development (with Hasanuddin University), and Climate Adaptation Strategies for Rural Livelihoods in Nusa Tenggara Barat Province (with the University of Mataram). The Small Grants project involved repeating evaluation workshops and stakeholder interviews in April-June 2015 that had first been undertaken at the end of the Alliance projects in April-June 2014, thus enabling the tracking of progress along each project’s Impact Pathway 1 year after project completion.

A significant limitation amongst many current impact evaluation methodologies is that a narrow set of approaches is often used to evaluate complex development issues. This means that impacts may be only partially described, and this is compounded by a lack of clarity around the validation and attribution of impacts to particular interventions. The Alliance approach applied mixed methods to overcome many of these challenges, allowing us to evaluate and quantify the impact of the individual projects, and to provide an opportunity for reflection by the project teams and hence further build capacity through learning.

Our approach was based on three facets:

  1. A Theory of Change and Impact Pathway exercise and diagram which created a ‘roadmap’ for each project’s assumed progress and related outputs, outcomes, impacts and goals.
  2. A self-reflection workshop amongst the Indonesian research partners which mapped key achievements against the project’s Impact Pathway, and discussed reasons for lack of progress and necessary remedial actions.
  3. An impact evaluation survey of the research team and boundary partners, which asked interviewees to score 18 indicators linked to phases of the Theory of Change and Impact Pathway, providing additional perspectives and triangulation of results from the self-reflection workshops.

The results of the exercises demonstrated that with a small additional investment, project impacts can be effectively estimated and attributed. In addition, the process of self-reflection was shown to rekindle project teams’ efforts to maintain momentum, and to tackle barriers to impact that they had identified. We suggest that the Alliance methodology demonstrated by this Small Grants project could be usefully applied to other projects in the AIC portfolio.

Project Team

Seona Meharg

Seona Meharg

Senior Experimental Scientist

CSIRO

Dr James Butler

Dr James Butler

Sustainability Scientist

CSIRO

Dr Dewi Kirono

Dr Dewi Kirono

Research Team Leader

CSIRO

Dr Neil Lazarow

Dr Neil Lazarow

Assistant Director, Coastal Adaptation

CSIRO

Hannah Barrowman

Hannah Barrowman

Researcher

Australian National University

Dr Kate Duggan

Dr Kate Duggan

Director

Griffin Natural Resource Management

Outputs

‘Evaluating the impacts of participatory planning for urban water infrastructure and rural livelihoods adaptation in Indonesia’: Small Grants Report

View the full report below.

Partners

Cluster