CLEAR Board Chair’s message
I am excited to have recently joined CLEAR as its new CEO and Chair of its governance bodies. The CLEAR Regional Centers and partners have made good progress in the first five years of the program, and I am committed to leading the Initiative toward achieving its objectives and outcomes as it approaches the end of the World-Bank managed multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) in 2021.
The CLEAR Initiative continues to contribute to strengthening evaluation capacity while expanding its focus to position itself to achieve higher level outcomes and become a more self-sustainable program. Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) was a busy year for the CLEAR Initiative. The Centers continued to expand the reach and scope of their M&E capacity building work. In FY16, the network delivered capacity-building services to nearly 13,500 individuals, compared to 2,000 individuals in FY13. Most activities, 59 percent, engaged government agencies, with 12 percent supporting academic institutions, 9 percent assisting private sector entities. The remaining deliveries served civil society organizations and regional and in-country M&E networks. In FY16, efforts began to establish processes to better capture the outcomes of CLEAR’s engagements. This year’s report includes outcome stories from every center. While this work is in its early stages, data collected this year show that over 85 percent of participants responding to feedback surveys cited high levels of increased knowledge and/or skills from CLEAR’s capacity building services. In addition, to advance the implementation of priorities surfaced during the mid-term evaluation, the program began preparing for global delivery—consolidating the CLEAR Initiative and setting in place new Phase II strategies, including platforms, systems, and processes to drive its global-learning dimension and to allow it to deliver outcomes that reflect the Theory of Change.
At the Regional Center level, this year’s emphasis was on stronger business-oriented management to inform the selection and delivery of Center services. The aim was to have a more deliberate client-selection process that was strategically aligned with expected outcomes, including contributing to public goods and positioning for financial sustainability.
At the network level, CLEAR focused on strengthening the global knowledge base and facilitating cross-center learning. A key outcome for the CLEAR Initiative will be the development of joint knowledge on “how to” and “what works” in ECD and identifying avenues to share this knowledge effectively for broad reach and effect. This work included developing strategies (knowledge-management and network-learning), setting up infrastructure (new website and collaboration platform), and piloting initiatives to collect and codify CLEAR regional knowledge and delivery know-how (webinar series, blogs, outcome stories).
To strengthen network collaboration, the Global Hub Team also facilitated important initiatives to create joint CLEAR deliverables, including the CLEAR-IFAD global course and certification program. While FY16 showed good progress on expanding reach and increasing knowledge sharing, CLEAR will have to continue to address the challenge of changing the orientation of regional work towards more outcome-focused and business-oriented approaches. For CLEAR to continue beyond the multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) as a global initiative, the CLEAR Centers must have a common agenda: a set of strategically selected activities that link them with each other in a positive and tangible way in their day-to-day business. Joint deliverables or global services, such as standardized courses on evaluation topics available at several CLEAR locations, will be pursued to strengthen the Initiative.
Ensuring a global network approach will require continued active facilitation to encourage Centers’ participation in global knowledge generation and sharing. The Regional Centers and the Global Hub Team will work together to develop a longer-term strategy—including regional and global fund raising—in order to strengthen the CLEAR Initiative and transition it into a more sustainable model by 2021.
I am confident we can build on the successes of past years to position the CLEAR Initiative for long-term success.
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