PIPA (Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis)

Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis (PIPA) is a practical planning, and monitoring and evaluation approach developed for use with complex projects in the water and food sectors. PIPA begins with a participatory workshop where stakeholders make explicit their assumptions about how their project will achieve its desired outcomes and impact. Participants can construct problem trees or "objective trees", carry out a visioning exercise and draw network maps to help them clarify their 'impact pathways'. Current and desired actor network maps are also drawn and discussed, to find the actions and strategies to help establish or strengthen partnerships and relationships with next user groups (the users of products), and thereby ensure impact will benefit the expected beneficiary groups. The results of this combined analysis is then articulated as an outcome logic model, accompanied by a narrative. The outcomes logic model describes the project's short, medium and long term objectives in the form of hypotheses: which actors need to change; what those changes are; which strategies are needed to realize these changes; and how, by helping to achieve the expected outcomes, the project will impact on people's livelihoods. Participants derive outcome targets and milestones which are regularly revisited and revised as part of project monitoring and evaluation (M&E). PIPA goes beyond the traditional use of logic models and log frames by engaging stakeholders in a structured participatory process, promoting learning and providing a framework for 'action research' on processes of change. Outside of the CGIAR, PIPA is being used at ICIMOD in Nepal, by the STEPS Centre at the University of Sussex and by INIA in Uruguay. More details here: http://betterevaluation.org/sites/default/files/ILAC_Brief17_PIPA_0.pdf

Summary of uses • Planning, monitoring and evaluation approach for water and food sector projects and programs • Participatory workshop for development of log frames/logic models, network maps, M&E framework

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Additional Information

Field Value
Website http://pipamethodology.pbworks.com/w/page/70283575/Home%20Page
Contributing organisations Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Contact person Boru Douthwaite
Alternate contact Sophie Alvarez
Participatory approach / method to address complexity
Target audience
When in the project cycle is the tool useful
Contribution to gender research
Spatial scale
Levels of organizations taken into account
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Expected output of tool
Type of assessment
Tool manual/User guide Alvarez, S. and B. Douthwaite 2009. Impact assessment of research in the CPWF. CPWF Project Report. Colombo, Sri Lanka: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Douthwaite, B., Alvarez, S., Cook, R., Davies, P., George, J., Howell, R., Mackay and J. Rubiano, J. 2008. Participatory impact pathway analysis: A practical application of program theory in research-for-development. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 22, 127-159.
Citation Alvarez, S. and B. Douthwaite 2009. Impact assessment of research in the CPWF. CPWF Project Report. Colombo, Sri Lanka: CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Douthwaite, B., Alvarez, S., Cook, R., Davies, P., George, J., Howell, R., Mackay and J. Rubiano, J. 2008. Participatory impact pathway analysis: A practical application of program theory in research-for-development. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 22, 127-159.