In the week of February 8, 2016, a delegation of VECO Andino and VECO Head Office visited the Borderlands Coffee Programme of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Colombia and Ecuador in Pasto, Colombia. Besides exchanging on both organisation’s value chain interventions with a focus on the export of specialty coffee, the mission’s objective was to discuss the different uses of SenseMaker as part of a planning, learning and accountability system.
Both organisations already have experiences applying the SenseMaker methodology (within VECO as the Inclusive Business Scan) to appreciate stakeholders’ opinions on the inclusiveness of the commercial relations between the producers, producer organisations and the companies that commercialize the produce. A first exchange had already taken place with other organisations experimenting with this methodology in the field of agricultural value chains.
As VECO’s and CRS’s coffee programmes are coming to a close this year, pathways were discussed on how SenseMaker generated data can complement already existing impact measurement methods. Based on good practice for the use of mixed methods for impact evaluations (Giel Ton, 2015), the programmes’ theories of change were used as the basis to identify which pathways were to be covered by more traditional qualitative and quantitative methods and where “black holes” still existed in terms of understanding the effectiveness of the programme intervention strategies.