Step 3: NIPN capacity development strategy and plan of action (4/4)
6. Define an M&E framework
It is important to establish and M&E framework in the capacity development strategy so that progress can be fully monitored. An example based on the SUN Movement Nutrition Assessment Guidance 2016 is presented below.
The specific objectives are the changes to be achieved through a capacity development programme in the medium term. These are the changes at the outcome level.
Outcomes describe a specific change for individuals and organizations and are linked to outputs. Outcomes should be thought of not only in terms of new products and services but also in terms of facilitated processes (e.g. participatory process initiated/activated/expanded, collaboration increased among different organizations).
Focusing outputs on capacity development creates the foundation for sustainability of the intended results. To formulate outputs, the following questions can provide guidance: Whose capacity is developed? What capacity is developed? How do activities ensure that capacities are developed?
Activities are the modalities of the interventions, e.g. training and technical assistance.
Indicators are targets that show progress. When defining capacity development indicators, a distinction should be made between:
- Process indicators: Measure processes that have been facilitated so that dynamic changes are encouraged through implementation of participatory approaches (e.g. process through which stakeholders have been engaged in a NIPN).
- Product indicators: Measure concrete results that have been achieved (e.g. formulation of an answerable policy question).
7. Cost capacity development actions
Costing the plan of action is an important step as it will highlight the most cost-effective actions. For example, it may be much more cost-effective to provide on-going technical assistance and mentoring to a NIPN team involving 5 people, or an in-country training course on statistical tools for NIPN data analysis component and data analysts of the host organization, than fund one individual to complete a degree course.