ICIMOD’s impact as a regional knowledge organisation will be achieved through utilisation and upscaling of knowledge generated with different working partners and knowledge sharing. Non-linear changes in social-economic-environmental system complexity, as well as design linkages, learning, monitoring and evaluation are imperative to comprehending, identifying and understanding impact pathways.
The three vital ‘I’s’ — Innovation, Integration and Impact — are important for the centre. Not everything can be known about how change occurs, yet impact can be known at the start and is the fundamental tenet of innovation with regard to impact pathways.
Using a theory-based approach, main impact pathways can be identified making the theory of change explicit in terms of different actors, users of outputs, and outcomes leading to clear development impacts. With this in mind, ICIMOD is working on the twin elements of impact pathways: validation of ICIMOD’s contribution to changes in HKH region’s poverty and wellbeing and in the physical and social vulnerabilities and ecosystem services; and to increase process understanding enabling change to take place in complex biophysical and socio-cultural contexts. This approach provides ICIMOD improved evidence in how it works with partner contributions toward impact within the strategic ad results framework. The focus is to facilitate stakeholder accountability and to support learning, policy information, and influence. At the same time, it provides funding choice support when resources are limited.
Each regional programme and initiative will have developed a results based log-frame with common sets of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) indicators, as well as reporting mechanisms which satisfy diverse development partners and assist implementation partners in measuring, documenting, and reporting on boundary initiatives. Indicators will incorporate issues of gender equality, environmental sustainability, and other emerging cross-cutting issues such as governance, poverty, and economic analysis. Log-frame indicators will be set to ensure measurement of both quantitative and qualitative outputs and outcomes. Each initiative will develop a results based M&E plan to serve as an important management instrument for implementing partners to track and report programme results at various levels. The developed initiative level M&E plan will consider detailed pathways to impact. To evaluate regional programme and achievements, information collected at the initiative levels will be compiled and analysed systematically. Quality scientific, product use, and the up-scaling of ICIMOD generated knowledge in the region and beyond are given special care in monitoring and evaluation. Each M&E plan will be backed by M&E activities and deliverables with clear responsibilities and timeline defined at both ICIMOD and partner level.