5. Reporting and Accountability

Reporting and accountability

Sharing project results with participants, partners, donors and community organisations related to the project is essential for transparency and accountability purposes. Often, projects are implemented with public funding, donations and contributions from different groups. It is important to keep them engaged and informed so as to sustain their trust and support in future similar projects. We suggest the following ways of sharing results: reporting, including making reports available on the organisation’s web-page, and creating spaces for dialogue and discussion on project results. Here we offer you some tips to take into consideration when planning these activities.

If you first want to assess your practices go to Assess your projects.

Reporting

  • Write short stories which capture the main conclusions of your project. Use testimonies and key facts as evidence.
  • Include conclusions and lessons identified during the project.
  • When you write your report, keep your audience in mind. This will help you select the most relevant pieces of information and language.
  • Include a title page with the name of the project, the name of the organisation and contact details
  • Include a table of contents if it is a long document
  • Include an executive summary. This is very important as it is what most people will surely read!
  • Watch your tone: you can be an advocate, a critic or a detached reporter. A report should be analytical and critical yet, empowering and motivating for the continuation of work.
  • Keep confidentiality of informants unless otherwise agreed.

Ensuring accountability through dialogue

Reporting is important, yet engaging in dialogue about project results requires the creation of exchange and discussion spaces. This can take the form of a workshop or session in which project results are presented and there is a space for questions and answers. When you prepare your presentation:

  • Think of the main idea you want to convey and focus your presentation on this one main idea. Often, we try to squeeze too much information in a single document. Sometimes less is more.
  • Be honest and self-critical, yet confident about the results of your project and the reasons why you engage in your work. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.
  • Choose carefully your facts and illustrations to support your argumentation
  • Share a story or example to clarify your idea.
  • Summarise your main point at the end and specify on which topics you would like feedback or dialogue about.
  • Offer a contact detail or follow-up details.
  • Thank the audience for listening!

A summary: Forms of evaluation activities in relation to project´s phases

Project phases Forms of MEL activities
Planning

Needs assessment

Socio-political context analysis

Identification of opportunities and risks

Definition of a theory of change, objectives, progress indicators and a MEL activities plan to gather and analyse information

Implementation

Formative evaluation (e.g. monitoring, team meetings)

Summative evaluation (e.g. participants evaluation forms, final report)

Follow-up

Impact and transfer (e.g. impact assessments, feedback from alumni)

Re-visiting the theory of change

On-going

Elaboration and sharing of lessons learned

Organisational reflection and strategic planning

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