Developing Locally Relevant Measures of Commitmentjeff
A recently-concluded LASER PULSE project, funded by USAID, can offer you insights into measuring local level capacity and commitment.
In this research project, Texas A&M (led by Sylvie Hamie and Khalil Dirani) and University of Notre Dame (led by Tushi Baul and Lila Khatiwada) researchers collaborated with the Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research (PPL/LER) in USAID and a Ugandan NGO on how to measure commitment at the local level, through the Just Like My Child training program. They adapted the Everyday Peace Indicators to provide methodologies and metrics to help expand and deepen the understanding of how local communities define their own goals, and how they view partnerships, progress, development, and evidence. In general, commitment is drastically different at the local level than national, and necessitates locally-adapted measures to adequately assess long term impacts and sustainability of programming.
As part of partners’ research translation efforts, the project developed contextualized documentations of how participants and stakeholders conceptualize commitment of themselves and others. This includes four evidence-based personas to help characterize the commitment that community leaders and members perceive and expect, respectively.
Partners also produced candidate evaluation and research questions to consider when interrogating the locally-relevant conceptualization of commitment, and from a subset of these, candidate commitment indicators. The intent is for these questions, and candidate indicators to be used to provide rich descriptions of the Ugandan context, community-level characteristics, events, and other variables for a local definition of commitment. These indicators are specific to Uganda and are not generalizable, so the team developed a broadly applicable step-by-step guide to develop locally sensitive commitment measures in a participatory manner.
We encourage you to use these materials in your work to develop locally relevant measures of commitment. For additional reading, consult the Full Report as well as a Measurement Matrix of capacity and commitment.