One field that crops up again and again in our work is policy dialogue. This has been an important element of international development efforts for some years now and its importance seems set to grow.
We know that assessing policy dialogue is hard and so settling even on a subjective view of how it might be going can be tricky. Multiple factors condition the progress and outcome of a dialogue initiative, complicating the monitoring and evaluation challenge. But that said, if we believe the quality of dialogue is an important factor affecting progress, there seems plenty of scope for more rigorous, systematic and (crucially) informative assessments of dialogue from this perspective. To date, application of such assessments has at best been patchy..
With this in mind, Simon has written a thinkpiece blogpost on his site that you can read here.