human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Learning from Formal Reflections
Why is this important?
Formal reflections (such as evaluations, reviews or audits) are more than just a data collection exercise. To be meaningful, they must be used to draw conclusions, to identify recommendations for future action and to inform the design of new projects, programmes or strategies – in other words, to learn and improve. Whilst many organisations complete formal reflections to demonstrate accountability to donors, it is vitally important that the purpose for conducting these include programme/project and organisational improvement; otherwise, organisations run the risk of repeating mistakes or missing key opportunities to improve.
Desired Outcomes (linked to the Assessment Tool)
The organisation has a KM framework/strategy/improvement plan, which is:
Formal reflections (e.g. evaluations, audits, reviews) take place.
Formal reflections (e.g. evaluations, audits, reviews, feedback and complaints) are analysed for learning purposes (CIMS 2.8.1).
Formal reflections (e.g. evaluations, [financial] audits, reviews, feedback and complaints) are shared with relevant stakeholders (CIMS 2.8.1).
Formal reflections receive a structured response from management.
Management’s actions in response to the reflection are monitored and reported on in a structured way.
Analysis of formal reflections informs strategies
Examples of actions/practices you can implement within your organisation to learn from formal reflections
Ensure your organisation has an approved Evaluation Policy in place, which is regularly reviewed.
Develop a standard management response template and process.
Establish a database that records previous and upcoming evaluations.
Conduct periodic reviews which synthesise findings from all evaluations conducted within a set period of time.
Guidance, Tools and Case Studies from Member Organisations