ROMA is implemented with a mix of workshops, rapid reviews, detailed analysis and research and time spent on reflection and learning. The RAPID team has found that, while workshops can be expensive – especially in terms of people’s time – they are a cost-effective way of building joint ownership of a project or programme when several partners are involved. They also provide dedicated time to focus on the influencing project, beyond the day-to-day work environment. Individual pieces of analysis – from rapid reviews to well-resourced studies – can be done in preparation. But we have not found a good substitute for getting together in a room and grappling with the issues.
Much analysis can be done during a workshop, but it may be necessary to commission specific studies to gather more data and insight. Depending on time and resources, you must decide whether a basic analysis is sufficient or whether a separate, more formal study should be commissioned. The same is true for options for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The implementation team can collect and analyse a lot of data but this may not be enough. Time should be earmarked for more detailed enquiry or someone commissioned to conduct this.