Testing the Strength of Evidence

Challenged by the biased claims for success by many institutions within the aid sector, HR&S has developed a strategy for providing scientific evidence of social impact, TestE (Testing the strength of Evidence). TestE captures for example randomization, quantitative statistics and contribution tracing.

Our first results indicates that we have already reached 10,000 vulnerable people, through 20 programmes. Our target if vulnerable people in Sub-Saharan Africa there is no upper limit, in terms of number of people to be reached, the types of products and service that we offer, or the number of parallel programmes. Our portfolio already ranges from sanitary pads and solar panel, to business training and formal education.

According to our Ten Action Principles (TAct) all initiative are designed and implemented on ground by a local entrepreneur, benefitting from locally developed or adapted solutions. They decide on the products and services to be offered, and the community responds by showing an interest to buy, or not buy. We do ensure the price level does not exclude the vulnerable.

Our Testing the strength of Evidence (TESTe) strategy targets outcome, impact, learning lessons, and real-time evaluation planning. Monitoring data is uploaded real-time on ROPEdata.se, a designated IT platform accessible through computers, tablets and cell phones. We offer ROPEdata to our partners thus enabling efficient communication around tools, strategies and results.

We compile evidence for each expected outcome and each expected impact. The strongest cases use multiple forms of evidence, some addressing the weaknesses of others. Reported effects should be plausible as outcomes of the programme activities and consistent with the strategy for change and the observations compiled as evidence should be easier to reconcile with the programme’s claims than with other possible explanations.

It is of no importance whether an outcome was achieved or not, this is a plain testing of evidence with no bias. Lessons learned on lack of outcome is as important.

ROPEdata (www.ROPEdata.se) is an HR&S IT platform for compiling observations and is accessible through computers, tablets and cell phones. Data are uploaded real-time and on-site.

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