Impact strategy facilitation with Fairtrade International
Fairtrade International is a global organisation working towards fairer trade for farmers and workers in developing countries. Partnering with more than 1.8 million farmers globally, the Fairtrade strategy and monitoring system needs to be plausible, relevant, and co-owned by working groups and producer networks. Akvo supported Fairtrade with the review and development of the organisational Theory of Change and the development of a new set of indicators to be monitored, in line with the new Fairtrade strategy.
The existing Fairtrade International Theory of Change was developed six years ago, and therefore required a review and update. In addition, Fairtrade was working with a long list of indicators to monitor progress. This list needed to be prioritised, shortened, and reformulated to allow for effective monitoring and evaluation. At the same time, Fairtrade was developing a separate strategy track. The reviewed Theory of Change and indicator work needed to be aligned with that process and required a lot of internal buy-in to achieve success.
Akvo supported Fairtrade with the review and development of the organisational Theory of Change and the development of a new set of indicators to be monitored, in line with the new Fairtrade strategy.
In order to collect feedback on the existing ToC and to understand the required changes, we conducted a user survey and facilitated ten consultation workshops with a range of working groups and thematic experts. Based on this input, together with the Fairtrade Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) team, we developed a new ToC which again was shared widely for feedback.
Next to supporting the ToC review, Akvo helped to select and define the strategic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the indicator protocols for these KPIs. We conducted a mapping exercise against global indicator frameworks (such as the SDGs, the ISEAL indicators and the IRIS/GIIN system) and supported the outcome selection and indicator prioritisation process. Akvo also provided technical advice on how to monitor and measure the selected outcomes and how to visualise them in an insightful way. In the process, we kept a close eye on the link with the new ToC, the users, and the usefulness of the data.
Above: A remote workshop with Fairtrade International during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participatory and inclusive process used to review and update the ToC ensured that different viewpoints were included in ‘how change happens’, making the Theory of Change plausible, relevant, and co-owned. By prioritising the monitoring indicators and linking them with the ToC and developing protocols, we improved the usefulness and efficiency of the monitoring system. This will all contribute to efficient data collection, insightful visualisations, and data driven decision making.