Tracking and measuring resilience in large programmes: lessons from BRACED

  • By Paula Silva Villanueva, Vicky Sword-Daniels, Jen Leavy and Dave Wilson
  • 03/12/2018

UN Photo / JC McIlwaine


This paper shares insights on designing and implementing monitoring, evaluation and learning systems as well as generating useful evidence that informs large resilience-building programmes in an international development context.


  • The scale of resilience investments like BRACED presents challenges to monitoring, evaluation and learning. Large programmes require both overall coherence as well as flexibility to appropriately target and strengthen resilience across diverse contexts and find a balance between accountability and learning for improvement. The very size and structure of large programmes challenges the extent to which they can be agile and course-correct.
  • BRACED shows that measurement frameworks benefit from shifting emphasis away from assessing performance towards generating evidence for learning. To measure and understand resilience, analytical frameworks are needed to understand causal pathways and both processes and outcomes need to be tracked to understand resilience within each context.
  • Broad capacity frameworks for resilience measurement such as the 3A’s (anticipatory, absorptive, adaptive capacities) help to draw attention to the trade-offs between short-term and long-term resilience gains.
  • In our experience there is value in taking an ‘evaluative monitoring’ approach to bridge the gap between traditional monitoring and evaluation timeframes, to understand how and why change is happening.
  • Rather than operating in parallel, our learning suggests that integrating and sequencing quantitative and qualitative methods would allow findings to be layered, to add depth, nuance or attribute change as necessary.


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