The Approach – Social Media as Social Capital

Our objective at GIZ was to establish an evidence based monitoring and evaluation framework in order to:


a) Contextualise the use of social media in development
b) support internal learning by generating knowledge from existing social media projects within GIZ
c) to increase the efficiency of social media use in GIZ programmes.



Social Media is a tremendous pool of capacity development tools.
Sean Macentee (CC)


First, social media needed to be contextualised within the framework of development cooperation. This has been done by embedding social media in possible development frameworks, such as the OECD DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness or GIZ’s own Capacity Works matrix. Particularly useful was the operationalisation through the OECD DAC criteria, which offer a macro level approach and solely focus on the issue of impact monitoring and evaluation of development measures. By simply paraphrasing the five DAC criteria we have formulated general questions with regard to the use of social media that can than be applied to specific programmes:


a) Are the social media activities and their outputs consistent with the intended impacts and effects? (relevance)
b) To what extent are the programme’s objectives more likely to be achieved through using social media? (effectiveness)
c) Were social media activities costefficient? (efficiency)
d) How many people have been affected by using social media? (impacts)
e) What has happened as a result of using social media in the project/programme? (impact)
f) To what extent did the benefits of a programme or project continue after donor funding ceased? (sustainability)


We realised soon enough that it won´t be possible to formulate a general framework (with a set of indicators) for evaluating social media activities. Under ideal conditions social media is an enabler, or better to say, amplifier of impact.


>> Ch. 3 'Research Framework and Methodology'