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How can the effectiveness of a coordinated response be measured?

Last edited: March 07, 2019

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Monitoring is a form of regular self-observation. It is used to highlight things that are not working well or go wrong, or conversely, that are working well, such as whether agreed protocols are being followed.  Coordinated responses and the agencies participating in them can monitor their coordination practices through:

  • annual collection and collation of statistics;
  • weekly or monthly case tracking;
  • court monitoring;
  • victims and survivor feedback surveys;
  • one-off surveys/studies of specific problems; and
  • case analysis or review. 

Because coordinated responses involve multiple sectors and operate at multiple levels, evaluating their effectiveness can seem a daunting task.  Each of the agencies involved will have different internal priorities and objectives, and there are likely to be methodological issues in comparing different institutional systems. 

Evaluations of coordinated responses have tended to adopt two main approaches:

  • Measuring the impact of the individual components of a coordinated response, such as criminal justice agents or victim/survivor advocates; or
  • Measuring the system-wide coordinated response.
  • A variety of data sources may be used to measure the effectiveness of the overall response, including:
  • criminal justice statistics, such as reporting rates, prosecution rates, convictions and attrition;
  • health data;
  • interviews or focus groups with victims/survivors on their experiences with the services and agencies;
  • observations of interventions provided;
  • interviews with professionals on what is working and what the challenges are; and
  • administering standardised tests, often involving control data (Shepard, 1999). 

Where established, shared information systems, such as case or service user tracking databases, can provide valuable data about the overall response, and should minimise some of the methodological issues because the data is standardised.

For some measures it will be necessary to collect baseline data in order to track trends before and after the establishment of the coordinated response, or before and after a particular intervention.  For some examples, see the box below:

Programme objective

Data sources

Reduce incidence of violence against women

Incidence of violence against women before and after implementation of the coordinated response

Increase victim/survivor confidence in the criminal justice system

Feedback from victims/survivors (surveys, questionnaires)

Increase reporting

Reporting rates before and after implementation

Increase arrest, prosecution and sanction of perpetrators

Arrest, prosecution and conviction rates before and after implementation

Process evaluations are also important, as they can help to show what components make an effective response, such as regular meetings, active involvement and strong leadership (Shepard, 1999). They can also reveal underlying issues or challenges:

  • whether there is consistent ‘buy-in’ from all the partners, or whether some are lagging behind;
  • whether there is consensus about key elements of the coordinated response, such as definitions, philosophy, protocols and information sharing;
  • whether there are power agendas within/between partner agencies;
  • which forms of violence against women are being included/excluded; or
  • the influence of external factors – such as availability of funding/resources – on the ability of the coordinated response to function effectively.

National Coordination and Governance of Coordinate Response 

Elements 

Quality Guidelines

Monitoring & evaluation (M&E) of coordination at national & local levels

 

Create and implement minimum standards for M&E for national & local levels

 

 

Minimum standards should include:

  • Realistic short, medium & long term goals

  • Qualitative & quantitative indicators of effectiveness of coordination

  • System for measuring achievement of goals

  • Inclusion of baseline data in measurement systems

  • Analysis of outcomes of coordinated response

  • Identification of barriers to successful coordination & possible solutions

  • Incorporation of lessons learned into future policies & practices

 

Provide review & feedback of monitoring results to policymakers & local multi-disciplinary response teams

  • Identify best practices & lessons learned

  • Identify problems & possible solutions

  • Apply information learned from local M&E to inform national agenda

 

Practice transparency while protecting victims & survivors’ confidentiality & avoiding possible increased risk (See also Create consistent systems element, above)

  • Make guidelines, standards & policies widely available

  • Use lay language in guidelines, standards & policies

  • Make guidelines, standards & policies available in all languages used in the community

  • Make results of M&E of coordinating process available to the public

  • Make findings on impact of coordination on marginalized & vulnerable groups available in a way that is accessible to those groups

  • Identify extent of problem in regularly published reports: e.g., availability of victim & survivor services, victim & survivor use of services, how perpetrators are held accountable