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ILAB/OTLA Monitoring & Evaluation Services

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Tools and training to support a theory of sustained change
  • Client
    Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Dates
    May 2022 – November 2023


ILAB/OTLA required support to operationalize their Theory of Sustained Change.

The US Department of Labor (USDOL), Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA) required tools and trainings to improve:

  • Grantee reporting of Standard Outcome Indicators
  • Use of ILAB/OTLA Theory of Sustained Change (TOsC) for worker rights programs
  • Understanding of monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) principles

Grantees were unfamiliar with the TOsC and corresponding reporting of outcome indicators. They had varying levels of experience with performance monitoring and complexity-aware monitoring. Reporting of ILAB/OTLA’s outcome indicators was not standardized across grantees, making it difficult for ILAB/OTLA to discern progress made on furthering worker’s rights across the globe.


NORC provided tools, resources, and trainings to improve grantee monitoring, evaluation, and learning knowledge and skills.

NORC developed a needs-based set of tools, resources, and trainings in English and Spanish for grantees on monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), complexity-aware monitoring and ILAB/OTLA’s TOsC. This includes:

  • A user-friendly guidebook
  • Eight interactive training sessions
  • A MEL resource library

The guidebook provides an overview of ILAB/OTLA’s TOsC, defines Standard Outcome Indicators that grantees may report on, and introduces how projects may apply complexity-aware MEL. NORC applied our high-quality training expertise as well as our expertise in theory-based and complexity-aware MEL to further develop grantee capacity in key MEL topics by providing trainings and compiling a resource library.


ILAB/OTLA grantees can better apply MEL principles, complexity-aware monitoring, and ILAB/OTLA’s TOsC to their projects.

ILAB/OTLA grantees came away with a greatly improved understanding of the TOsC and how to report on Standard Outcome Indicators. NORC’s tools, resources, and trainings provided grantees with a clear description of the TOsC and how they can gather data and report on these indicators. Users in the pilot test of the guidebook found it to be clear and user friendly.  

Trainees also appreciated the interactive nature of trainings, coming away with a better idea of how they fit into ILAB/OTLA’s overarching goal of advancing workers’ rights globally. Trainings also standardized grantee understanding of MEL best practices, eliminating the variability of understanding evident prior to trainings.

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