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SenseMaker GBV Monitoring Tool

SenseMaker® for Monitoring and Evaluation of SGBV Programs

Organisation: Queens University

Partners: ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality; UNFPA, Lebanon; International Rescue Committee (IRC), Lebanon

Location: Lebanon

Type of grant: GBV

Status: Ongoing

  • Dr. Susan Bartels, explaining SenseMaker to a team member from the ABAAD Resource Centre for Gender Equality, Lebanon. Credit Colleen Davison

  • Queen’s University student, Nour Bakhache, piloting a SenseMaker survey with Syrian women Lebanon May 2016 Credit Colleen Davison

  • SenseMaker App


Evidence on the impact of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) programming is lacking. To address this, we will examine the feasibility of an innovative monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tool, Cognitive Edge’s SenseMaker®, to generate timely mixed methods data about SGBV programs.

What is the humaniarian need?

M&E for SGBV programming frequently relies on output measures such as number of beneficiaries receiving services. Evidence on the outcomes and impacts of those services is currently lacking. Theory-of-change models often rely on theoretical assumptions that individuals benefit from receiving services but in practice, there is little evidence to support these assumptions. Quality M&E data on SGBV services is needed for responsive programmatic decision-making and more efficient methods of data collection are required, particularly in complex settings such as humanitarian crises.

What is the innovative solution?

As an innovative M&E tool, SenseMaker® will ask individuals to share stories about their experiences with SGBV services. Because the questions are open-ended, individuals can report positive or negative aspects and since it is narrative-based, it tends to elicit more revealing responses. Because participants interpret their own stories using pre-defined questions, interpretation bias is reduced and the accompanying narratives help to contextualise the quantitative responses. Furthermore, because the SenseMaker® data collection is digital, results are promptly available.

SenseMaker® will allow continuous collection of anonymous, self-interpreted stories about the way people experience SGBV services. The mixed-methods data will enable new insights to inform adaptive delivery of SGBV services with decision-making that is based on what is perceived to be happening rather than working towards aspirational outcomes. If this innovation proves to be feasible, valuable and scalable, it may provide an effective way to shape evolutionary change for M&E in humanitarian crises.

What are the expected outcomes?

We will test the feasibility of using SenseMaker® for M&E of SGBV programming with the following anticipated outcomes:

  1. Prototype for a SenseMaker® SGBV M&E tool developed collaboratively by the team and piloted for a period of three months.
  2. Monthly mixed-methods program evaluation data to help adapt and improve existing SGBV services to better meet beneficiaries’ needs, identify gaps in programming, and recognize potential harms.
  3. Formative data for and deliberative dialogue around a SGBV –specific rapid needs assessment for use in humanitarian settings.
  4. Project report on the SenseMaker® SGBV M&E tool reflecting on lessons learned and concrete examples of how SenseMaker® data can inform SGBV programming and services.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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