SoCha (a portmanteau of Social and Change) is an independent Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) firm that provides bespoke solutions to social challenges. Since our inception in 2010, we have grown from a consortium of globally-recognized experts who specialize in evaluating the effectiveness of development assistance, to a full-fledged ME&L services firm that specializes in advancing innovative methodologies and changing the way donors find solutions to social problems. Our main sectors of expertise are education, youth and training, maternal health, rural development, local governance and stabilization. We are registered in the US, but to be more responsive to our clients and more in touch with the realities on the ground, we operate two regional offices (in Tanzania and Thailand).
SoCha holds that Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) is the core strategic driver of any international development organization. Spanning from strategic planning to implementation with impact to institutional learning, ME&L provides the mechanisms for catalytic innovations and program management. If used correctly, ME&L will bring tremendous value to those who need it most. SoCha is deeply committed to measuring the results of development assistance and philanthropic work through ME&L that meets the highest requirements for rigor and transparency, drives continuous learning and improvement of programs, and demonstrates impact.
SoCha offers the full range of ME&L services, providing a comprehensive solution from strategy to impact. We design, implement, manage and refine ME&L systems under contract and cooperative agreement with donors such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Department for International Development, and the United Nations Children’s Fund; for philanthropic foundations such as UBS Optimus, the Elma Foundation and Dubai Cares; and for private NGOs and national governments.
SoCha team members specialize in advancing social science solutions to improving applied humanitarian and development interventions. The ME&L team has evaluation experience at the macro and micro level, ranging from national and regional, to community level, using a variety of approaches to measuring effectiveness across a range of geographies and diverse cultural contexts. Team members have developed monitoring systems, including qualitative and Meta evaluation models for impact and performance measurement, rapid field evaluations, design of data collection methods, surveys, and data quality assessments at project, country mission and donor levels. The SoCha team has regional expertise in developing areas, with experience in across Southern, Eastern and Western Africa; the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. Our four primary service areas are:
Our four primary service areas are:
Qualitative Comparative Analysis
SoCha’s “Qualitative Comparative Analysis” (QCA) is our flagship approach to determining program effectiveness, capturing implementation learning and improving design. SoCha's QCA is a variant of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) that has been adapted to international development and humanitarian assistance settings to determine how context, external factors and complex programs contribute to outcomes. We use QCA to inform learning reviews, support mini-evaluations, and provide ongoing feedback loops to identify which intervention, or combination of interventions, are the most effective for achieving outcomes. QCA is especially useful for complex programs that seek to understand how various combination of implementation activities work together to contribute to program outcomes in and across a variety of settings. When conducted in cooperation with impact evaluations, QCA provides a more nuanced picture of how positive social change occurs by answering “how” questions through the rigorous application of comparative methods.
SoCha has recently pioneered the application of QCA to conduct a new kind of Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) of complex programs with multiple components. Whereas traditional CEAs compare a variety of programs across countries to determine which is more cost effective, we compare variation within a single program to identify multiple pathways to achieving the same outcome. We then apply an activity-based costing model to these pathways to determine which are most cost effective. This new type of CEA is especially useful for pilot projects that seek to develop evidence-based proof of concepts before going to scale.
Process and Impact Evaluations
From ex ante to process to ex post to impact to meta evaluations, SoCha incorporates a variety of methodologies to offer your organization the full range of evaluation services, including our flagship M³SC approach. We combine multi-sector expertise with years of valuable lesson learning on how best to design, deploy and deliver top quality evaluations. Our evaluations help clients review their performance, demonstrate results and carry forward lessons for improved programming. We also build the capacity of programming teams to better manage independent evaluators and demand more useful results.
We experienced in designing, conducting and supporting impact evaluations with a variety of designs (experimental to non-experimental). Our principle investigators (PIs) work with implementing partners to ensure they understand statistical findings in commonsensical terms. We also work with university-based PIs to provide quality assurance of baseline and endline surveys in the field, as well as contextualize program data in language and conceptual frameworks they are familiar with. We currently have partnerships with Mathematica Policy Research Institute on an impact evaluation in Tanzania, and have an ongoing partnership with New York University’s IDEAS Center to develop their Teacher Instructional Practices and Processes System (TIPPS) tool to measure meditational student/teacher interactions in schools in East Africa. We are tapped into a wide network of university-based academics, and SoCha is a member of the American Evaluation Association, the American Sociological Association, the International Development Evaluation Association, and the Comparative Methods for Systematic Analysis Society.
ME&L Systems Building and Assessment
SoCha has brought together world class ME&L professionals to exchange knowledge and identify best practices across the ME&L spectrum. Our objective is to establish a shared understanding of ME&L best practices and standards, and to promote their worldwide spread and utilization. Your organization will gain from this expertise when you call upon us to conduct comprehensive assessments of your ME&L systems, policies and procedures. We will evaluate to what extent your current system advances organizational and program goals, as well as identify how your ME&L systems stand up against global best practices. We will work with your staff to close the gap by introducing improvements to ME&L policies, advise on strategic planning, generate causality frameworks and theories of change, tailor ME&L manuals to your needs, conduct comprehensive data quality assessments, and build results-oriented monitoring systems. The systems we build are deeply rooted in organizational learning, and are designed around feedback looping, periodic reviews and reflections, ongoing hypothesis testing, and informed dialogue.
SoCha team members have designed and lead independent monitoring strategies and projects across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. We can help your organization increase program implementation through on-site performance monitoring, activity verification and deep dive inquires of how program efforts play out on the ground. We also perform internal and external data quality assessments and audits to ensure that the solutions provided meet international and donor requirements, as well as the reporting and decision making needs across various levels.
Working collaboratively, we set up and manage independent field monitoring teams to provide timely information to implementers when they need it most. We also support our clients and partners with “outside of the frame” monitoring to capture data and monitor changes that are extremely relevant to program outcomes but are seldom addressed in traditional log/results frameworks. Our “independent but integrated” ME&L solution guarantees that program managers are able to accurately gauge performance in real time without compromising data integrity.
Careers at SoCha llc
SoCha LLC is pleased to announce this sources sought notice (SSN) for Strategic Communications, Media Buying, and Creative Services.
SoCha-a United States-based international development firm with an office in Nairobi-is soliciting responses from interested firms so that we can build a roster of high-quality businesses based in Kenya that we can work with on a variety of upcoming communication projects.
This notice is not a Request for Proposals, in no way commits SoCha to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in the response.
This Document provides a background about SoCha (Section 1), describes our communication and outreach needs (Section 2), outlines the qualifications we seek from interested firms (Section 3), defines the information we want from your firm (Section 4), explains our selection criteria (Section 5), and contains instructions on how to respond to this SSN (Section 6). An annex contains two attachments: (A) Services List and (B) Price Matrix.
On behalf of SoCha’s entire Nairobi-based team, we look forward to receiving your response and confirmed interest in being a potential vendor by 17:30 (5:30 pm) on Wednesday, April 29.
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Interested in joining the SoCha Consortium? We are currently seeking individuals with several years of experience (10-15+) in a variety of ME&L functions across a spectrum of donors and standards, as well as method-savvy social scientists who specialize in international development. You should possess strong analytical skills using quantitative, qualitative and mix methods, a strong appreciation for hypothesis testing and a solid foundation in database and/or GIS management. African and Asian national citizens are strongly encouraged to apply.