Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Support for the Kenya Climate Innovation Center’s Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition Program (2024-2027)

WDI is collaborating with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) on the Sustainable Waste Innovation for a Future in Transition (SWIFT) program, a three-year incubator and accelerator program targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the waste management sector in Kenya. Funded by the IKEA Foundation, the program’s primary objective is to transform the waste management sector through innovative business models that embrace the principles of circular economy. The SWIFT program will support 110 SMEs from across the country through business advisory services, technical assistance, mentorship and access to finance, and by fostering an enabling environment through advocacy and policy support.

WDI’s role is to design an impact measurement strategy, essential for evaluating the program’s effectiveness. WDI will also develop the research design, sampling strategy, surveys, and analysis plan. During this project, WDI will strengthen KCIC staff’s measurement capabilities while actively learning about the waste management and climate change context in Kenya. WDI will conduct the data analysis and identify statistically significant program impacts. These efforts will culminate in the production of detailed reports at baseline and end-line phases, encapsulating key findings. These insights will also support KCIC.

Developmental Evaluation (DE) was created to evaluate innovative programs that operate in complex environments and are thus expected to adapt over time. The Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL), developed under the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is testing the effectiveness of DE in the USAID context. The DEPA-MERL consortium consists of Social Impact (prime), Search for Common Ground (Search), and the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan. As part of the consortium, Social Impact and Search are implementing DEs while WDI is serving as an evaluator to assess the effectiveness of this approach in the USAID context.

USAID’s Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships activity, which is led by DAI seeks to build the evidence base for the return on investment (ROI) of women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. WDI is leading ROI calculations for case studies of women empowerment efforts conducted by three businesses. The case studies are being led by MarketShare Associates.

United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships activity, which is led by DAI seeks to build the evidence base for the return on investment (ROI) of women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. WDI is leading ROI calculations for case studies of women empowerment efforts conducted by three businesses. The case studies are being led by MarketShare Associates.

The Gender-Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition (G-SEARCh) comprises a group of six like-minded impact investors: AlphaMundi Foundation, Acumen, SEAF, Root Capital, AHL Venture Partners and Shell Foundation, working to help scale purpose-driven businesses and gender lens impact investing for more sustainable and inclusive economies through actionable evidence, fostering dialogue and collaboration across sectors. As part of this effort, the William Davidson Institute’s (WDI) Performance Measurement and Improvement team will develop and execute robust research to generate evidence on improvements in the financial and social performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that receive gender-lens investments and incorporate gender-smart activities across their business processes. The goal of this research is to provide knowledge and lessons to SMEs as they seek to become more inclusive and gender-equitable, and to impact investors, as they allocate resources to gender-smart interventions and approaches so that impact investing becomes a tool for gender transformation. The consortium has released the G-SEARCh tested tools & approaches for gender lens investing, a live Google Sheet that captures the social and financial indicators to measure the success of gender-smart TA activities, and will release a final report with key findings and case studies in summer 2022.

WDI’s Performance Measurement and Improvement team, together with Good Business Lab, will conduct an ex-post evaluation of TechnoServe business accelerator programs that have operated in Chile, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama since 2008. Using WhatsApp and phone interviews to collect data from program participants, we seek to estimate the sustainability of the programs’ impact on the entrepreneurs and their businesses.

WDI’s Performance Measurement and Improvement team is working with AlphaMundi Foundation (AMF) to provide guidance and dissemination support for a Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment Return on Investment tool. This tool is being developed by MarketShare Associates under USAID’s Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) activity, which i s l ed b y D AI. MSP seeks to build the evidence base for the return on investment of women’s empowerment in low- and middle-income countries. WDI and AMF will contribute to the development of the WIE-ROI tool, extract lessons learned from pilots, and foster update of the tool. This work will build off of WDI and AMF’s work together on the Gender-Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition (G-SEARCh project).

Illustration of man and woman communicating in different languagesThe private sector tends to utilize different measurement techniques compared to the public and nonprofit sectors. The use of Toyota Production System’s Lean methods is commonplace in the private sector, whereas the use of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) is standard in the public and nonprofit sectors. In this white paper, we share ways each sector can improve their organizational performance by adapting aspects of the other’s measurement practices.

The Gender-Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition (G-SEARCh) comprises a group of six like-minded impact investors: AlphaMundi Foundation, Acumen, SEAF, Root Capital, AHL Venture Partners and Shell Foundation, working to help scale purpose-driven businesses and gender lens impact investing for more sustainable and inclusive economies through actionable evidence, fostering dialogue and collaboration across sectors. As part of this effort, the William Davidson Institute’s (WDI) Performance Measurement and Improvement team will develop and execute robust research to generate evidence on improvements in the financial and social performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that receive gender-lens investments and incorporate gender-smart activities across their business processes. The goal of this research is to provide knowledge and lessons to SMEs as they seek to become more inclusive and gender-equitable, and to impact investors, as they allocate resources to gender-smart interventions and approaches so that impact investing becomes a tool for gender transformation. The consortium has released the G-SEARCh tested tools & approaches for gender lens investing as its first product.

Under this project, WDI is collaborating with Mathematica to support efforts by a global health organization to enable innovation across the value chain and disseminate learnings about sustainable business models in low- and middle-income markets. Supporting an ambitious learning agenda, WDI has helped develop a comprehensive MLE framework to support achievement of strategy goals for a portfolio of projects seeking to improve the nutritional status of low- and middle-income consumers in Africa and Asia. In addition, WDI has led the documentation and assessment of business model innovations tested by private sector partners and their impact through the development of comprehensive case studies and other knowledge products designed to stimulate replication of successful approaches in other markets.

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