Measuring the impact of CARE’s Governance work

CARE Ghana Mohammed Nurudeen (in front) and Samuel Boateng (second left) pose with colleagues after a session.


CARE International is piloting a new and exciting monitoring and evaluation initiative in Ghana that aims to better demonstrate how the Ghana’s Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project is contributing to improving local governance accountability in the country. This forms part of a broader learning initiative that CARE International is implementing, with support from the CARE UK Halcrow Investment Fund.

The initiative seeks to better understand and capture the impact of CARE’s global inclusive governance work. In partnership with Pamoja Evaluation Services, CARE plans to employ the cutting-edge evaluation approach of Contribution Tracing as an organizing framework for the pilot evaluation of the GSAM project. In February this year, Pamoja’s Director, Gavin Stedman-Bryce delivered a training to the GSAM project team and other key stakeholders to build their capacity to effectively carry out the pilot evaluation.

A core evaluation team, known as the ‘Dream Team’, was subsequently formed to lead the pilot evaluation exercise. The team has since organized sessions to introduce the initiative to the project’s CSO partners. “We want to test whether citizen’s oversight and engagements on District Assembly capital project planning and execution, has improved local governance accountability,” the M&E Specialist for the GSAM Project and leader of the evaluation team, Samuel Addai Boateng explained. He said the pilot evaluation using Contribution Tracing will take place in July, adding that “we have already formulated our contribution claim and have subsequently developed the draft evaluation plan that will guide the process.” So, what is Contribution Tracing? Contribution Tracing is based on the principles of Process Tracing and Bayesian (Confidence) Updating. This approach offers practitioners clear guidance on what data to collect. It has been designed to support the formulation and validation of a ‘contribution claim’ about the role played by an intervention to determine if outcomes of interest are realized. It then measures how much particular items of evidence increase or decrease our confidence in relation to a contribution claim. Contribution Tracing forces evaluators to think – in great detail – about how and why a particular change has come as a result of a project.

Why is it relevant? With all the investment of time and resources of USAID, the implementing partners and citizens, it’s important that we can state with credibility that we are making a difference for the better through the ongoing efforts of public information campaigns and strengthening the capacity of local CSOs and citizens to demand accountability. Does supporting CSOs and citizens in monitoring, evaluating and providing feedback on District Assemblies’ genuinely improve performance in the implementation of Capital Projects?

Contribution Tracing will help CARE and its partners unpack the nature of accountability and get to the root answers to these questions. It will support CARE to design an M&E system which focuses on gathering the ‘right’ data, thereby using its resources for monitoring and evaluation more efficiently. …………………………………………………………………………………………

Over the next few months, Pamoja and CARE will produce a series of blogs, social media content, and knowledge products centered around applying Contribution Tracing through GSAM. Watch this space for an update in the next newsletter!

To find out more about Contribution Tracing and GSAM’s work with Pamoja, please visit the CARE International Governance Wiki page at: For video of the Dream Team in action, please visit the Pamoja website link featuring Halcrow at