Outcome Harvesting over 3 projects in the Western Balkans
Mesopartner is implementing an Outcome Harvesting exercise over 3 market system development projects in three countries in the Western Balkans of the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation: the project RisiAlbania in Albania, MarketMakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Enhancing Youth Employability (EYE) in Kosovo. The study aims to support Helvetas in better understanding the impact it is having in the three countries through these projects. The current focus of the study is on results in the ICT sector in terms of job creation, job matching and skills development – but later studies might cover the other sectors the projects engage in. The study started with kick-off workshops in each of the projects in October and will be wrapped up by a sense making workshop, where all three project teams will come together to share and exchange their insights and learn together. The Outcome Harvesting method is highly conducive to discover changes in complex contexts that go beyond what is captured through the regular monitoring activities of the projects. Initial results show that about a quarter of all harvested outcomes are unintended consequences of the projects. So far, the feedback of the project team members has been very positive, expressing that the study gives them a new perspective on what they have achieved so far by combining both expected and unexpected results and combining them into a new, overarching narrative. There is a high interest to integrate the method into the regular monitoring and evaluation activities of the projects. To deliver this study, Mesopartner is partnering up with Voices that Count, a collaborative network of experts and practitioners who use narrative approaches to understand complex realities within organisations or projects.