Evidence Briefer: Supporting Effective and Sustainable Networks and Mentorships

Evidence from an Evaluation Series

Many democracy, human rights, and governance projects aim to create sustainable results, often by developing connections and relationships between stakeholders that will outlast the project. However, project timelines and funding constraints limit implementers’ ability to assess if and how programs contribute to results beyond the project lifecycle.

To address this gap, the Evidence and Learning Practice at the International Republican Institute (IRI) designed a series of evaluations on projects with two common program approaches that create different types of self-sustaining relationships: networks, which create relationships where peers reciprocally share information, and mentorships, which create relationships where more experienced participants share information, skills, or connections with others.

IRI’s evaluation series used comparative case studies to identify the conditions in place when these program approaches succeeded (or failed) to better understand long-term results and develop guidance for future programs. This evidence briefer outlines the key findings and recommendations for program design and implementation.

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