From September to November 2017, INTRAC supported Freedom from Torture in the UK with their M&E and impact assessment process, by providing tailored and flexible coaching and mentoring.

Freedom from Torture had identified a need to build in more rigour in how they assess the impact of their training and capacity building work to ensure that they are carrying out the right activities to support survivors of torture to realise their rights and rebuild their lives. As part of this they are improving their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system and testing their newly developed theory of change. The aim is to design systems and processes which can deal with the complexities of their wide range of training and capacity building services, and the desire to both learn from the process and be accountable to the senior management team.

Like many small organisations, Freedom from Torture has a limited budget, but recognised that to build and implement an impact assessment process in the area of capacity building they needed support with developing the methodology and doing the assessment. To achieve this, Freedom from Torture hired an independent junior consultant, Paula Haddock, to set up the system and guide them through the process. They then contracted INTRAC to provide specialist advice to Paula though a flexible coaching and mentoring programme.

INTRAC Associate, Maureen O’Flynn initially worked with Paula and Freedom from Torture to advise on the development of the methodology and how it related to the team’s theory of change.

Maureen has been instrumental in supporting us to clarify the main areas of change as articulated in our theory of change, and to use those areas of change for the impact assessment. She helped us to choose an approach which covered both the breadth of work, whilst providing in depth case studies on particular aspects of our work. She guided us in developing our lines of enquiry which aided us to develop our survey and a range of interview questions.

The coaching support was designed to be flexible, providing short weekly inputs remotely by phone and email (2-3 hours per week) to answer questions and provide ideas for tackling problems and moving forwards. Consequently, the impact assessment progressed very quickly. Freedom from Torture was able to build on Maureen’s suggestions and quickly get buy in from stakeholders, lay out the trajectory of the work, and benefit from Maureen’s sharing of learning from other organisations.