eStudy 095: Using the Cultural Consensus Method to Evaluate Program Impacts
eStudy 095: Using the Cultural Consensus Method to Evaluate Program Impacts


Peggy Ochandarena
Chief of Party- Enhancing Palestinian Justice Program, Chemonics International Inc;
Co-Director, Global Impact Collaboratory.

Roseanne Schuster
Assistant Research Scientist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University;
Director of MEL, Global Impact Collaboratory.


Culture is the shared beliefs of a particular group of people, and strongly shapes what is socially acceptable and thus shapes action. Understanding the culture of an intervention’s beneficiaries is critically important in designing interventions for effectiveness. Because the underlying theory of culture allows use of purposive sampling in public spaces, a cultural consensus model (CCM) provides a relatively more rapid and cost-effective data collection method than a traditional long-form surveys or focus groups to assess shared knowledge, beliefs, and norms. The CCM can be used to establish baselines, provide evidence for intervention designs, and measure changes in knowledge, beliefs, and norms after interventions. In this webinar, leaders of the Global Impact Collaboratory, a partnership between Arizona State University and Chemonics International, give learners hands-on interaction with the theory, instrument design, and analysis for the CCM, with demonstration of its use in international development projects and application to a case study.


-First Session

Introduction (15 minutes): Introduction of the Global Impact Collaboratory (GIC), advantages of using cultural consensus models in international development programming. Brief outline of the projects where the GIC applied cultural consensus models in Mozambique, Haiti, and Palestine, in diverse sectors addressing climate change, justice and security, and gender-based violence. Limitations of the CCM.

Overview of CCM (30 minutes): Introduction to the theory behind the method. Process of using the CCM. How to identify appropriate scope of knowledge domain. Document review and survey development. Enumerator training and survey revision.

Question Creation for Norms (30 Minutes): How to identify appropriate scope of knowledge domain. Use of illustrative examples from baseline evaluations in adaptation to climate change in Mozambique, justice in Haiti, and gender-based violence in Palestine. Includes time for questions.

 -Second Session

Review knowledge domains (30 minutes): Elicit ideas for appropriately scoped cultural domains, generate example questions for that cultural domain. Comparison of self-generated questions with instructor’s question set. 

Demonstration of Analysis: Conducting cultural consensus analysis in R (25 minutes) Conducting an analysis on a clean data set to show how to determine validity of model by checking model parameters and how to identify sub-groups through model variation.

Implementing CCM in practice (15 minutes): Best practices, including sampling, piloting, and analysis.

How to apply findings to intervention plans and evaluations (15 minutes).

Primary Audience:

Evaluators, practitioners, and researchers with no prior knowledge of cultural consensus who are interested in understanding cultural norms and targeting and tailoring programs and interventions. 


November 27, 2018 12:00-1:30 (EDT)
November 29, 2018 12:00-1:30 (EDT)


Peggy Ochandarena is a researcher, lawyer, and social worker, with 20 years of international development experience in over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Eurasia.  She created Chemonics International’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning department, developing a certificate program and training hundreds of staff. She developed and delivered training for USAID and U.S. government personnel from the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security on project design and performance measurement. She has extensive experience with overall responsibility for USAID and State Department project management and success, having served as director or chief of party for nearly two dozen projects. Ms. Ochandarena is currently the Chief of Party for USAID’s Enhanced Palestinian Justice Program in the West Bank. She formerly worked as a director for the international division of the National Center for State Courts, and as the deputy director of the World Justice Project. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Boston College and law degree from Georgia State University College of Law.

Roseanne Schuster is a global nutrition and public health professional dedicated to increasing the impact of research and programming through innovative, cost-effective, and culturally responsive monitoring, evaluation, and learning. She has a decade of experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs seeking to improve health and environmental and social well-being. Dr. Schuster engages community-based, participatory, and implementation science approaches in interventions and evaluations to ensure programs are ultimately responsive to target populations and adaptive to the complex systems in which they operate.

Dr. Schuster's research focuses on how to improve delivery of critical health services in low-resource settings, uptake of health care among vulnerable populations, and understanding of how food and water insecurity shape infant and young child feeding and growth. She has led interventions, evaluations, and indicator development activities in multiple countries, with long-term expertise in Mozambique and sub-Saharan Africa. Her research has been sponsored by USAID and DFID, among others. 

Facilitators Experience:

Peggy Ochandarena has facilitated dozens of trainings and workshops on monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) in international development projects for over a decade.  She developed a certificate course for fundamental concepts in MEL for staff at Chemonics International, is a frequent trainer in projects around the world, and has presented to large audiences at numerous international conferences.

Dr. Roseanne Schuster has developed the trainings on cultural consensus models for evaluation of international development projects deployed in numerous countries. She has facilitated these trainings with faculty and students from six universities in Mozambique and with community-based organizations in West Bank, Palestine. Dr. Schuster has been recognized with a teaching excellence award for her facilitation of a hands-on undergraduate course that engaged students in designing a formative evaluation for a pressing global health issue.