What is a VfM Toolkit?
Learning and Change understands a VfM Toolkit as a variety of tools and methodologies that can help programmes or organizations operationalise VfM Frameworks. A VfM Toolkit is different from a VfM Framework, since the latter concentrates on the ‘what’, whereas the Toolkit on the ‘how’.
In other words, a Framework details what VfM is for a specific programme and organization, what the purpose is, what are the key questions it intends to answer, what it aims to assess, what indicators, standards and/or criteria it uses.
On the other hand, a VfM Toolkit provides the necessary tools, methods and approaches that can be used to make a Framework a reality.
How does a VfM Toolkit help?
A VfM Toolkit is usually addressed to team members and stakeholders who are involved in operationalising a VfM Framework.
These may be the people responsible for collecting data that can illustrate the VfM performance, the teams responsible for consolidating and analysing the evidence that can help them draw VfM conclusions and recommendations or the people who are responsible for the decision making within planning processes so that VfM analysis can feed into future plans.
What does a VfM Toolkit include?
At Learning and Change when we develop a VfM Toolkit we use the VfM Framework of a programme and organization as a basis to define possible tools that can help them capture the right information, analyse it and use it.
We usually try to build on an organization or programme’s existing tools and systems. In fact, often some of the data that can be used to draw out VfM conclusions is already being collected and therefore does not need to be ‘re-invented’.
We build on what exists and complement it with additional tools that can complete the evidence and capture other elements that might be useful for the VfM analysis.
Depending on the programme or the organisation, the VfM Toolkit may be structured around VfM data collection, VfM analysis and use of VfM evidence or the tools may be designed specifically to support strategic moments that were identified in the VfM Framework or in the VfM Strategy as the key processes where the programme or organizations wants to focus its VfM analysis on.
For example, a programme may need some tools to assess its VfM at proposal stage, to collect data during annual reviews and to integrate VfM as part of their evaluation processes.
The tools detail one by one the steps needed for each aspect of the VfM Framework.
The tools may include aspects like:
- The purpose of the tool
- The level at which it is used (local, regional, global)
- How it used
- How the information is stored
- How the data is consolidated
- What the tool actually looks like
- Examples of its use
- Possible visuals that can help to illustrate the data
- How the data will be used
- The definition of keywords
How to develop a VfM Toolkit?
Developing a VfM Toolkit means putting ourselves in the shoes of the person or team who will be using and implementing the tool, thinking about what we would want to know to be able to use it.
At Learning and Change we usually develop the Toolkit together with the relevant key staff that will be engaged in its use while also reviewing the existing tools which are used as a model for the development of the new ones.
How can Learning and Change help you develop a VfM Toolkit?
Learning and Change can support your programme or organization to develop your VfM Toolkit in many different ways:
- We can provide advice on how to go about it, suggesting some steps and approaches you may use so that you can go ahead and develop it internally;
- We can develop the Toolkit which can then be tested and tailored internally based on one or more experiences developing it;
- We can develop and test the Toolkit for you, with inputs from the team in specific key moments.
Learn more about our work on VfM here.
Learning and Change