Institutional & Policy Review: SDI Evaluation 2013

In the recent months SDI, in partnership with external consultants, has been involved in an institutional and policy oriented evaluation. The purpose was to take stock of major changes in the SDI network over the past five years, as well as to focus on major strategic choices that the network faces in its future growth.

As a result of the evaluation, a number of strategic choices have been identified, many of which have been under consideration internally for some time. Such decisions are not between right and wrong, but between priorities and how to allocate scarce resources in terms of both time and funds. Notably, the evaluation states, in its final conclusions and recommendations, that “SDI has been quite successful so far in its trajectory, keeping a relative balance in its network between different demands, interests and opportunities.” With regard to the challenges currently facing the organisation, the evaluation goes on to affirm that “…new challenges are apparent in the evolution of SDI that are essentially the consequences of its growth and age. Therefore, rather than being the expression of a crisis, they are signs of success and evolution. Even so, they must be properly addressed; as to some extent they imply choices that might affect the very nature of SDI itself.” Some of the strategic choices put forward in the evaluation include:

• Whether to stick to the local-level role as a “model builder,” “catalyst” and policy influencer or embrace further the role as operator for upscaling.

• How to find the balance between being an informal network / movement and a formal / effective organisation.

• How to create stronger links between grassroots leaders and professionals, based on shared values and understanding of people-driven development.

• The need to clarify roles and responsibilities of NGOs versus Federations and broaden the leadership base to best serve Federations.

• How to better define SDI’s relationship with governments, and to identify under what conditions SDI may need to be more vocal and/or contentious.

• How to build more active and systematic fundraising at the national and international level.

• How to improve feedback about benefits of proper information handling in order to lessen resistance to adoption of data collection instruments.

SDI is committed to building a voice of, by, and for the urban poor, through a dedication to principles of transparency. As such, we are pleased to share this external evaluation with the public. To read the full report, click here.

To read the full report, click here.