1. PM&E for Change

Double Loop advisors understand the complexities of social change. Combining their collective experience in Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) they have developed ways to design tailor made, easy-to-use (PM&E) frameworks.

PME frameworks that are mutually owned will help aim to help project partners find ways to improve their interventions. To be able to collect meaningful information that can feed practice it is important that the framework is actor-oriented, learning-oriented and change-oriented. The Double Loop advisors understand the challenges in measuring program results aimed at social change. Project managers need to know what precisely happened (or did not happen) during the project lifecycle. Integrating simple, mostly qualitative, methods for monitoring and documenting outcomes in your systems will clarify the value of your approach for your organization and partners. The information will also add credibility of your approach that could possibly strengthen donor relations.

 Process supporting tools and methods:

  • Theory of Change
  • Outcome Mapping
  • Documenting tools (e.g. story telling, write shops)
  • Qualitative evaluation tools (e.g. most significant change)
  • Learning-oriented monitoring
  • Action research


2. Learning to better operate in post-conflict settings

Double Loop facilitates action learning and action research on peace building, conflict and livelihoods, employment and human security, conflict sensitivity and conflict management. Double Loop advises on how programmes can contribute to enhanced governments’ legitimacy in fragile settings. Concurrently, Double Loop strengthens staff capacities to learn systematically from practice and helps facilitate platforms with diverse stakeholders and actors to learn and implement activities collectively.

In post-conflict settings, like South Sudan or Burundi, donors are willing to support peace-building programs. However, whereas interventions are extremely urgent, the context in fragile and post-conflict settings is particularly dynamic and hence demanding.

Organisations operating in these contexts have little time reserved for sharing and reflecting on experiences. Delivering the programmed outputs is difficult enough and it can be difficult to set aside time to consider whether the activities indeed contribute to the overall peace-building goals of the program. Double Loop assists in striking a balance between urgency and quality.

We value the professional experiences of the staff and take these as a starting point. By offering tools for action learning and facilitating their use “double loop learning” is practised. This way the program teams themselves are supported to put concepts into practise and feed back what they have learned to the fine-tuning of their concepts.

Process supporting tools and methods:

  • Theory of change methodologies
  • Results chain management
  • Action research
  • Action learning cycle
  • Facilitation of multi-actor processes


 3. Value creation in networks

Double Loop advisors offer training and coaching to facilitators of inter-organisational networks. We use methods that are based on action research with international networks to increase the connectivity and participation in networks.

Collaboration through networking is, to a large extent, informal and takes place across organisational boundaries. As a result, conventional organisational structures and its hierarchies are becoming out-of-date. Working in networks can be fast when it appeals to the voluntary energy of people, but it also poses new challenges and requires different competencies.

One challenge is to keep the momentum going and to mobilize energy and commitment. All too often, participation in networks results in disappointment. Identifying key roles and people in your network and supporting them in their tasks will contribute to a healthier and more effective network.

Another challenge is to balance the informal connections with the formal responsibilities of a network. Network analysis will highlight opportunities for improved governance. Mapping and monitoring network connectivity increases awareness of how the network functions. Specific competencies for network facilitation can be developed through training and coaching.

Process supporting tools and methods:

  • (Social) Network Analysis
  • Training and coaching on networking competencies
  • Design of network governance
  • Monitoring of network performances


4.  A focus on Partnerships

Double Loop increases the effectiveness of  the working relations with your partners through an improved capacity building approach that is based on more synergy between stakeholders. This will lead to collaboration that is based on complementarity and that is well tailored to the global context in which we are working.

Traditionally, relationships in development cooperation were those between donor and recipient. This  paradigm is changing into partnerships with a greater variety of stakeholders and financial agreements. In these new partnerships, which include players from the private and public sector, both sides invest time in building social capital. A challenge for development practitioners is to find enough time in the already hectic day to establish and maintain these partnerships.

Similarly, capacity development has traditionally been a one-way strategy to strengthen Southern partner organisations. This has had the unintended effect of emphasising the unequal relationship. Nowadays, development organisations realise that partnerships are more effective if they are based on mutual respect and a willingness to learn together on how to deliver better development results. Double Loop facilitates two-way capacity development and multi-stakeholder dialogue on how to adapt to changing contexts.

Process supporting tools and methods:

  • Organisational assessment methods
  • Design of organisational development approach
  • Peer learning
  • Reciprocal capacity development tools
  • Power analysis
  • Multistakeholder dialogue


5. Tailored Organisational Assessments

Double Loop advisors can help to design your organisational assessment (OA) process. This ensures an appropriate organisational development process is in place. Double Loop has broad experience with participatory and reciprocal organisational assessment methods. As introduction to the 5C model we offer the free 5CAN  assessment tool on the Double Loop website.

Organisational assessments of Southern partner organisations are frequently carried out to identify gaps for organisational capacity building or for accountability to funding agents. Partners often perceive the assessments as burdensome examinations and do not see them as instruments that benefit their own organisational growth. Experiences also show that only minor changes follow an OA; usually just a few weak points are addressed (gap filling). It is difficult to use OA results to bring about concrete long-term changes within organisations.  Double Loop advisors help to ensure that OA is a constructive part of organisational development (OD) and in institutional development (ID). Using the right methods and design processes for OA and OD, development organisations can become much better in strengthening each other’s capacities and improving their joint performance.

Process supporting tools and methods:

  • Participatory organisational assessment methods such as the 5C framework
  • Design and facilitation of organisational development approach
  • Peer learning
  • Online 5CAN tool


6. Social Inclusion Methods

Double Loop advisors can help to address the ‘tough issue’ of social exclusion in your development programs not just by introducing nice concepts and theories, but mainly by guiding you through the hard work of a change process that builds on evidence and systematic action learning.

 In every society certain groups of people are socially marginalized, such as the disabled, the HIV positive, or women. If you want to work on poverty eradication, you need effective inclusion methods. Over the last three decades, development programmes have made efforts to also reach these groups, in other words they are mainstreaming inclusion of these groups. Long-term results, however, have for the most part been disappointing. Mainstreaming often remains a reality only on paper, leaving the practice unchanged. Mainstreaming is extremely difficult, not because of a lack of knowledge, but due to deeper attitudinal and cultural constraints. A simple training course does not suffice to change attitudes. Double Loop advisors have a proven track record of facilitating learning programs on mainstreaming and bringing together expertise and thinking power from different organizations.The starting point of the approach is the joint insights of the participants themselves who jointly identify their own learning questions and action plans.

Process supporting tools and methods:

  • Mainstreaming approaches
  • Action research on attitude, knowledge, practices, and changes
  • Design of learning processes
  • Documenting and tracking change at individual and organisational level