Evaluation

RCG conducts program and project evaluations that are rigorous and responsive to the program theory and design and to the context of program implementation. Our approaches are theory-informed and user-focused. Our evaluation reports consolidate evidence within coherent assessment frameworks and provide partners with clear, actionable recommendations and a sound basis for decision-making.

Recent examples of our work include:

Led impact evaluation of the US$55 million USAID ‘Africa RISING’ program — a five-year program identifying and validating scalable options for sustainable intensification of key African farming systems across three distinct ecosystems and six countries.
Evaluation of Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA’s education and training programs on the Thailand–Myanmar border, funded under the NGO Cooperation Program of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Evaluation of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Social research

RCG undertakes social research in a wide variety of areas, including social protection, migration, education, health, community empowerment, and infrastructure and urban development. We design and conduct qualitative and quantitative research, including clarification of research questions, development of research instruments and systematic analysis of data. RCG consultants are particularly skilled at working with vulnerable and marginalized populations, including ethic minorities, migrants, displaced people and those living in conflict situations.

Recent examples of our work include:

“Equity and education quality in remote and rural Vietnam: Mitigating risks to vulnerable groups in the transition to full-day schooling” — paper presented to the 59th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society in Washington DC in 2015.
Research into exploitation of migrants in the Italian tomato-growing sector.
Online government and non-government survey of counter-trafficking responses among the 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (in English and Russian).
Research paper for World Vision investigating, documenting and making recommendations on the various interrelated impacts on children of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Project design

RCG’s extensive evaluation experience has highlighted that many program weaknesses can be attributed to shortcomings in original program design. Those shortcomings often result from failure to articulate and test assumptions about the linkages between activities and intended outcomes. In its design work, RCG coordinates closely with clients and partners to develop insightful project and program activities, starting with rigorous, evidence-based problem analysis and then clearly establishing a theory of change to ensure that activities are strongly linked to targets and outcomes.

Recent examples of our work include:

Development of counter-trafficking program design toolkit for the UN Inter-agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT).
Assessment of the design of more than 200 projects submitted to the European Union for funding in the areas of health, drugs and migration (multiple assignments).
Preparation for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the design guiding the US$50 million Australian Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement program — Australia’s flagship program in the occupied Palestinian Territories.

M&E frameworks

Effective and efficient program monitoring provides data to support program improvement in real time, based on a detailed understanding of implementation context, program design and objectives. RCG develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks; activity, result and outcome indicators; data collection processes and procedures; and guidelines for data management and reporting. All of these are developed with a utilization focus, to help ensure they can and will be used by often time-poor staff.

Recent examples of our work include:

Development of M&E framework for the Basic Education Quality and Access in Lao PDR (BEQUAL) program, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the European Union.
Development of M&E framework for CareNZ, the largest provider of alcohol and other drug services in New Zealand.
Assistance to the Global Slavery Index to develop monitoring frameworks for government responses to modern-day slavery.
Support to the bushfire-prone state of Victoria (Australia) in preparing an M&E framework to measure performance in emergency sector agencies facilitating community-based bushfire management.

Training and institutional development

The RCG team has extensive experience in developing and providing tailored training programs in a wide range of contexts. RCG trainers understand adult learning, and greatly respect the knowledge that trainees bring to the table. We are particularly skilled in applying participatory training approaches in both formal and informal settings, as well as providing on-the-job mentoring and improving institutional performance. RCG staff are attuned to identifying barriers to implementation of new knowledge and skills learned in training, and addressing these barriers through improved systems, procedures and motivation.

Recent examples of our work include:

M&E training for the School Education Quality Assurance Program (SEQAP) in Vietnam, funded by the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development and the Belgian Development Agency.
Facilitating the development of an integrated counter-trafficking training curriculum for police, prosecutors and judges in Sudan, through the International Organization for Migration, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Training for senior officials in Egypt’s Ministry of Education in the principles of disaster risk reduction in a context of swelling school numbers, given the recent influx of Syrian children, for Save the Children.

Responsible and sustainable business

By supporting private sector entities to translate their commitment to sustainable and socially responsible business into workable action, RCG seeks to secure positive outcomes for all stakeholders — companies, affected communities, and suppliers and buyers, including end consumers. RCG’s expertise in corporate social responsibility includes support for sustainable supply chains that are free of exploitative labour practices and are compliant with existing and emerging legal requirements. The RCG team also works directly with communities affected by mining and infrastructure projects, including through negotiation of companies’ social license to operate within those communities.

Recent examples of our work include:

Development of interactive remedies toolkit for businesses finding incidents of forced or exploited labour in their supply chains.
Development of a performance measurement framework for Republic Gold Limited to progress towards achievement of a social license to operate from communities surrounding its Bolivian mining concessions.
Landscape analysis of initiatives towards eliminating recruitment fees for migrant workers.

Communications

RCG specializes in developing communication materials that are context-specific and designed to engage, inform, and stand out from the huge volume of information encountered every day. RCG reports are written in clear and concise language, and always cleared by a native speaker before completion. They are intimately tailored to the needs and literacy capacity of their intended audience. Where possible, RCG uses visual aids and story-telling to illustrate key themes.

Recent examples of our work include:

“Taking the Safe Route” — publication for the Asian Development Bank detailing HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the transport sector in China.
Preparation of an advocacy paper for ActionAid presenting the many complex issues of enabling resilience in the context of the occupied Palestinian Territories.
Publication and training on using behavioural theory to inform programs to prevent human trafficking.

Policy development

Evidence-based research provides policy leaders with the information they need to adjust or revise a specific policy or suite of policies. RCG provides qualitative and quantitative research and policy analysis to support assessment of the impact, efficiency and effectiveness of policy, and to support policy change. Our work in this field is underpinned by a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the political and cultural landscape of each context we work in.

Recent examples of our work include:

Full-day schooling policy framework for the School Education Quality Assurance Program (SEQAP) in Vietnam, funded by the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development and the Belgian Development Agency.
Lead consultant (for UNDP) in preparation and drafting of the Cambodian Government’s request to the Ottawa Convention prohibiting the use of anti-personnel mines, requiring development of a detailed national strategy demonstrating a roadmap towards treaty compliance.
Assistance to the Government of Mongolia in developing detailed ministerial orders requiring HIV prevention clauses in all transport and mining projects.
Support to World Vision in Laos, in liaison with the Government of Laos, to reach common agreement on basic program parameters to guide all decision-making on program development.