DCED Practitioners’ Checklist for doing Adaptive Management
Adaptive Management enables practitioners to be effective, by learning and adjusting - building on strategies that are working, and changing strategies that are not.

This tool provides a self-assessment test to review whether a programme is able to apply Adaptive Management practices; it is divided into two sections:

1. READINESS: Is the system in place?

2. APPLICATION: Is it being used?

Section 1 can be assessed on its own. You must complete it before you can assess Section 2.

Programmes may choose to dedicate specific personnel to do this test. Or a group of people can answer individually and scores can be averaged out to get a more inclusive picture.

Instructions: Answer all the following questions by ticking the appropriate box. Your score will be calculated and shared with you at the email address that you provide below. Your test results will be kept confidential and only shared with you. This is still being piloted; thank you for your willingness to participate!
Email address *
Name of the programme *
Your answer
Name of the person conducting the assessment
Your answer
Your answer
Are you filling out the form for the whole programme? If not, please specify which element of the programme you are answering for.
Your answer
The five categories of question in this section help to assess whether your programme has the system and structure in place to do adaptive management.
1) We conduct ongoing research to understand local systems, market dynamics and the context in which programme does/will operate. *
2) We have budget allocated to collecting information that will help in programme implementation (e.g. for doing sector analysis, baselines, regular monitoring). *
Operational flexibility
3) We have the flexibility to adjust programme management based on evolving needs. Example: hiring more people, changing human resource structure, investing in staff training. *
4) We have flexibility from our funders to adjust contractual obligations as necessary. Example: changing logframe deliverables, adjusting targets, reallocating budgets from one component to another. *
5) We have flexible contracts with partners that can be modified. E.g. modifying intervention activities. *
Staff skill set
6) Our interventions management team (not only M&E team) has skills in analysing different situations and gathering information to improve interventions. If these skills are not yet sufficiently developed, we have a plan to build capacity in this area. *
7) All programme staff have a clear understanding of the specific change steps that are expected to lead from each intervention to goal level results. Example: by making results chains or theories of change. *
Organisational culture
8) Our programme encourages both programme team and partners to improve their work by learning from success and failure. *
9) We design interventions together with partners and other relevant stakeholders. *
10) We design interventions by assessing individual constraints and designing tailor-made solutions. *
11) We have built in review cycles for programme staff to review the impact of their work and to adjust interventions based on it. *
12) We have a clear and documented system on what information to collect, which assumptions to check, and how information will be collected. *
13) We have a clear and documented system for using the information collected, to make decisions on implementation strategy. *
14) All staff understand the system for using information to make decisions on implementation strategy. *
Additional comments or remarks:
Are there any other limiting factors that have not been listed above which might in future limit your programme's ability to manage adaptively? If yes, please elaborate the reasons.
Your answer
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