Scott G. Chaplowe – I am a dedicated professional with over 23 years’ experience working with civic, public and private organizations seeking sustainable solutions for social and environmental challenges While past job titles include “Monitoring and Evaluation” (M&E), my work encompasses a range of other interrelated processes for generating, managing and using information to help organizations critically examine, understand and pursue international development and disaster preparedness and recovery.
I adopt a utilization-focused approach to my work, supporting strategic planning for and development of systems and processes for knowledge management that contribute to decision-making, organizational learning and capacity development, quality assurance and accountability. Emphasis is given to careful organizational and context analysis to develop coherent theories of change to plan, manage, monitor and evaluate intended results for a range of interventions, including policy, strategy, operations and program delivery.
My work has taken me to over 30 countries, building cultural competence interacting with a range of stakeholders, from CEOs to refugees. It has provided experience in different thematic areas at both the headquarters and field level, notably community health and resilience, sustainable agriculture and livelihoods, disaster recovery and risk management, and social inclusion and migration.
I am well-versed in qualitative and qualitative (mixed) methods for evaluation and related analysis, with particular attention to ethical and quality standards, as well as meaningful stakeholder engagement. When stakeholders meaningfully participate in interventions, it helps ensure they are relevant, building mutual understanding and ownership to support and sustain results. It also helps monitor emergent and unanticipated opportunities, threats and outcomes to better adapt and respond to the complex contexts in which development and humanitarian work is delivered.
For over a decade I have worked with the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement, an international humanitarian and development network with the mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering. I began working with the American Red Cross in 2005 as an M&E Advisor in its Tsunami Response Program, with corporate and field experience in Washington DC and then Sri Lanka.
In 2008 I began my current position as a Senior M&E Advisor with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Based at its global headquarters in Geneva, I support the strategic planning and implementation of a results-based management and quality assurance system for the IFRC network of five global regions and 190 National Societies.
Prior to the RCRC, I was based in Los Angeles, working with an assortment of civic and public organizations and initiatives. From 1995 to 1997, I worked as a Program Manager with the World Sustainable Agriculture Association, networking with over 120 organizations to advocate and promote food security and environmental conservation.
This was followed by seven years consulting as a civil society specialist with the United Nations (UN) Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), conducting policy analysis and research on civil society organizations and sustainable development for the UN Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed, and the UN Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (UN/OSCAL).
During this period, developed my background in evaluation and research consulting for various public and nonprofit programs in the US and abroad, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Beverly Hills Unified School District, Heal the Bay (Los Angeles), NextAid, and the Soil, Water and Air Protection Enterprise (SWAPE).
My work is largely influenced by my academic training in Geography at UCLA, with a focus on human and natural resource management. I completed an MA at UCLA in 1996, with my thesis on urban agriculture and food security, conducting field research in Havana, and publishing the article, “Havana’s Popular Gardens: Sustainable Prospects for Urban Agriculture” in the international journal, The Environmentalist. I am particularly influenced by the sub-disciplines of cultural and political ecology. The former examines human adaptations to social and physical environments, and the later examines political, economic and social factors that shape how we shape the environment. The tenants of both disciplines have instilled in me an appreciation for systems thinking and complexity theory – the importance to examine the interdependent factors and actors to best plan for and support solutions that are more likely to be realistic and have sustainable impact.
My work is also influenced by extensive experience in adult education and leadership training. This began for me working in experiential outdoor education for adults with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Outward Bound, complemented by varied work experience in education, including teaching at the East China Institute of Technology (Nanchang), Tunghia University (Taichung, Taiwan), and the Los Angeles Valley College. It was a natural progression that I combined my experience in education with M&E, developing and delivering face-to-face and eLearning training for individual and organizational capacity development, culminating in my recent book with Brad Cousins, Monitoring and Evaluation Training: A Systematic Approach.
Engagement in International Fora
A critical part of my work is to establish and maintain strategic partnerships and professional networks, and to remain engage in and aware of trends and innovations in the larger M&E, development and humanitarian community. I have organizes sessions, presented papers and delivered professional development workshops at variety of conferences, including the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the European Evaluation Society (EES), the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), the Malaysian Evaluation Society (MES), the Sri Lankan Evaluation Society (SLEvA), and the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA). I am also an active contributor to virtual networks, and have served as a technical advisor on working groups for an assortment of initiatives, including EvalPartenrs, EvalSDGS, ALNAP, The Sphere Project, the Technical Advisory Group for the Core Humanitarian Standards, the Zurich Alliance for Community Flood Resilience, and the the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilience Measurement, Evidence and Learning Community of Practice.
Selected Work Examples
- Monitoring and Evaluation Training: A Systematic Approach – 464 page book with Brad Cousins, SAGE Publications Inc., 2016
- Monitoring and Evaluation Planning. Guidelines and Tools – 24 page field-friendly guide, USAID, American Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services, 2008
- Civil Society Organizations and Evaluation: Lessons from Africa. With Ruth Bamela Engo-Tjéga. Evaluation. 2007. Vol 13(2): 257-274
- Havana’s Popular Gardens: Sustainable Prospects for Urban Agriculture – The Environmentalist. 1998. Vol. 18, pp. 47–57
- Monitoring & Evaluation Planning for Projects/Program – American Evaluation Association webinar, 2013
- IFRC Baseline Basics – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2013
- IFRC PMER (Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting) Pocket Guide – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2012
- IFRC Framework for Evaluation – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2011
- IFRC Project/Programme Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Guide – International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2011
- Zurich Alliance for Community Flood Resilience – Presentation at the conference of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), Chicago, 2015
- Rapid Mobile Phone-based Surveys (RAMP) – Presentation at annual meeting for the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), Washington DC, 2013