RIDER - About us
Réseau Interdisciplinaire Dédié à l’Evaluation et au Retour d’expérience -
Interdisciplinary Network for Evaluation and Lessons-learned Exercises
RIDER is an interdisciplinary network bringing together MSF-OCP, Epicentre and the Crash. It was created in 2018 to take over the evaluation unit formerly created in 2009. Its mission is to support MSF’s executive and associative branches in the production of rigorous and useful knowledge for action, using social sciences and epidemiology.
RIDER’s creation stems from the 2017-2019 MSF-OCP’s strategic plan and aims to foster a dynamic of learning and accountability. It specifically responds to the following objectives of the strategic plan:
- Improve the relevance, quality and impact of evaluations (initial, real-time or retrospective) that use methods from epidemiology and the social sciences (i.e., anthropology, management, history, economics, geography or sociology).
- Improve evaluation and learning practices within each department.
- Share results of evaluations and lessons-learned exercises more widely, both internally and with the general public.
What do we do?
Anyone who would like to launch an evaluation, a study, a lessons-learned exercise, or any other reflection on MSF’s action that requires specialized know-how can call on RIDER.
RIDER is involved in projects in a varied and flexible manner:
- Methodological support for projects completely implemented by the initiator.
- Co-managing studies involving, for example, external researchers and MSF project managers.
- Fully carrying out projects for (and with the active participation of) the project initiator.
- Gives up-front support in formulating questions and objectives, which is a crucial step for later buy-in of results and recommendations.
- Uses a multidisciplinary approach from the beginning.
- Requires that project initiators work together with RIDER throughout the process and that they decide on a dissemination strategy from the beginning.
- Transfers skills in epidemiology and social sciences to the project initiator and their team, reinforcing the use of best evaluation practices as a matter of routine.
How do we do?
In practice, the first step is to formulate an initial question that explains the context, the primary question the proposed study would address, who the target audience would be, how the results would be used, as well as suggested restitution formats and dissemination strategies.
Then, RIDER’s members discuss and clarify the question and the objectives with the project initiator. Is it a question about the overall context (What is happening? What is the situation?), or about MSF practices (Did we do well? How we might do better…)? Or is it to document an experience (a specific project, innovation, practice, or incident ...) in order to transform it into shareable knowledge? To justify or promote a decision, a practice, a policy? To evaluate an innovation in real time?
The goal of this preliminary phase is to test the relevance of the question and to discuss with the initiator the best way to answer it: a more in-depth multi-disciplinary project, or perhaps a “lighter” process (organized debriefing, brainstorming, workshop, literature review, synthesis of archival documents, etc.).
If, after reflection, the project initiator wishes to undertake a full study, (s)he will, with the RIDER members, write a work plan that includes:
- The objectives and the questions being asked.
- Recommended methods and required resources: methodological know-how, level of involvement of RIDER, human resources need, involvement of the project initiator in project management and implementation…
- Strategies for dissemination and use of results: reporting formats (written reports, workshops, slide decks, other audiovisual…), dissemination policy (internal, donors, partners…), change management strategies (support system for recommendations…).
The project initiator and RIDER will present the work plan to the relevant department directors (and, for major topics, to the 4 General Directors), who will help in prioritization and moving forward, according to OCP’s political priorities.
Type of documents produced by the RIDER
Three broad categories:
- Evaluation reports (also called critical review)
- Lessons-learned Exercises (also called experience sharing, practice review, etc.)
- Others: Workshops’ summaries, Opinion’s papers and Interviews, Literature review, References