Research management coaching
Real-time outcome planning and evaluation for research (ROPE-Sci)
Human Rights and Science (HR&S) offers platforms for the implementation of research findings and innovations developed in non-OECD countries, as well as, cross-cultural knowledge sharing and transferring of livelihood improvement solutions across borders. In addition, HR&S addresses sustainable economy, institutional capacity and international collaboration, as well as, a framework where international partners collaborates as equals, thus contribute and benefit equally.
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HR&S ensures adapted solutions with local ownership and therefor a needs driven approach. A needs driven approach is here defined as an activity defined by the person or the persons who will be implementing the activities in actual practice (the Target partners) and who will be in a position of ensuring long-term sustainability. The focus of the Real-time outcome planning and evaluation for research (ROPE-Sci) tool is therefore the Target Partners and the core of all ROPE programmes is the ambitions of the Target partners. The ROPE structures operations by compiling the ambitions of the Target partners, as well as outcome challenges they are constrained by, and then providing the means necessary to overcome those challenges.
The ROPE-Sci addresses a logical relationship between the inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact of a research management programme. The purpose is (as with any logical model) to assess the causal relationships between the elements of the programme; if the resources are available for a programme, then the activities can be implemented, if the activities are implemented successfully then outputs are provided, certain outcomes can then be expected short term and impact can be expected long-term. ROPE-Sci further ensures the necessary components for cross-cultural scientific collaboration such as trust, harmony, equity, open and frequent knowledge sharing, long-term planning, consequence analysis, maintenance of items and structures, firm governance and staff motivation and empowerment.
Thus, ROPE-Sci provides; i) a strategy for designing programs based on the needs and the knowledge of the Target partners, ii) means to overcome the challenges identified by the Target partners, iii) a sustainable economy, and iv) institutional capacity.
All ROPE-Sci related information is compiled in a master document, the Programme journal (PJ), and each research programme develop its own Journal. The Programme journals are ambitious and the work with the PJs is iterative why the Journals build up with time. The PJ consist of three sections the Design, the Monitoring and scoring and the Evaluation planning.
After having identified the ambitions of the Target partners, the ROPE compiles the challenges that the Target partners face. Those challenges describe the reasons for why the Target partners are not doing what they want to do to reach their goals. We call the compilation of challenges Outcome challenges. Linked to each Outcome challenge is a Progress marker. The purpose with the Progress markers is to enable evaluation planning of the programme activities. Thus, the Progress markers are well defined indicators which can be easily monitored and assessed. The Outcome Challenges also define the Output Map. The Output Map is a set of concrete activities that needs to be addressed to reach the ambitions of the Target partners.
After having defined the Output Map, then Quality values are address together with Cross-cultural learning and understanding. Prior to initiating the work according to the design document the partners agree on the definition of equal partnership. Expectations are discussed and agreed on, core-values are reflected on as well as the sharing of inputs and benefits. Thereafter, is a Sustainable economy scheme developed and a plan for the required Institutional capacity. A sustainable economy is required for the Target partners as well as for the Programme partners. A crucial component of the ROPE-Sci is also that all PPs have strong enough institutional capacity to manage the programme. The institutional capacity includes aspects as mission, vision, strategy, goals, sustainable economy, evaluation planning, strategic partners, visibility, staff, volunteers, management, board, infrastructure, and finance administration and accounting. At this time, when everything has been considered, then, and only then is it time to develop an input map. The Input map addresses who does, what and when and what other resources is required, besides work hours. An MoU is preferably agreed on.
ROPE-Sci Evaluation planning
The ROPE-Sci Evaluation planning builds on a sequence of monitoring and evaluation events, for with dates, participants and results are recorded. Lessons learned from the monitoring and evaluation exercises are fed into the Programme Journal and are used for programme design revisions. The monitoring preferably starts at the same time as the design of the program. Methods for collecting monitoring data are designed to best match the lay-out of the programme.
The outcome evaluation planning is done real-time so that the lessons learned can directly contribute to the evaluation planning in actual practice.