We are Headlight Consulting Services, LLP. Headlight Consulting Services, LLP delivers data-driven decision making through systematic design support, in-depth monitoring, evaluation, and learning technical services, and facilitated organizational change processes. Headlight offers fit-for-purpose, agile solutions to improve the efficiency and efficacy of international development programs around the globe, focusing on the structures and systems that will enable sustainable solutions.
How did we start?
Rebecca Herrington, CEO and founder of Headlight Consulting Services, LLP saw a need for more holistic data-driven service delivery in the international development and tangential fields. There were plenty of expert organizations able to provide performance evaluations or advisory services on short notice, but no one seemed to be offering the whole package. More and more donors and organizations working in these fields wanted actionable evidence and support to use this evidence in strategy development, planning, and adaptive management of their work to maximize efficacy and efficiency, as well as adapt to quickly-evolving contexts. Based on experience and expertise needed to fill this gap, Rebecca Herrington founded Headlight in 2018. Cindy Clapp-Wincek quickly joined the firm as a partner, bringing with her the opportunity to support the Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation Policy for the security cooperation enterprise. A quick succession of requests has led to Headlight’s rapid growth, diverse portfolio, and sustained engagement collaborating with clients to get them the best return on investment for their monitoring, evaluation, and learning efforts.
What do we do?
- Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: Headlight provides the methods, tools, and expertise needed to track progress towards development outcomes and adapt programming based on rapid feedback loops. This allows us to make suggestions on how to best respond to shifts in the implementing context and conduct evaluative and learning efforts to understand more about a strategy/program/activity’s impact, outcomes, and contribution within the system it exists. Headlight’s MEL services include, but are not limited to:
- Designing, integrating, and operationalizing context, performance, and learning monitoring for traditional and innovative practices such as digital programming, disaster risk management, and effective emergency response;
- Designing and implementing rigorous qualitative evaluations with facilitated support for uptake of recommendations; and,
- Designing, integrating, and operationalizing fit-for-purpose learning agendas that map existing monitoring and evaluation efforts across activities, identify gaps that require additional learning supports, and facilitate the organizational behavior change necessary to implement the learning agendas effectively.
- Systems Thinking: Headlight provides a variety of tools that enable clients to take an action-oriented look at the systems in which they operate. System thinking tools and processes help identify programming dependencies, potential areas for collaboration with like-minded actors, and opportunities to achieve compound outcomes from complimentary programming. Systems thinking outputs also provide a more nuanced, operational view of the context, time required for changes to occur, and action plans for various scenarios that contribute to more effective, sustainable development systems and gains. Headlight’s Systems Thinking services include, but are not limited to:
- Implementing and facilitating the use of stakeholder mapping, social network analysis, interdependency maps, and stakeholder management systems to improve relationships management, collaborative programming, sustainable handoffs, and understanding of influence and access;
- Supporting the design and iterative use of Systems-Based Theories of Change for better articulation of what is in a client’s manageable interests, sphere of influence, and long-term goals with dependencies on other stakeholder to achieve systems-level outcomes;
- Implementing causal loop modeling to inform program/activity;
- Facilitating scenario planning for strategic resource decisions, sustainability planning, and/or tailored context monitoring in support of adaptive management; and,
- Value chain analysis, process monitoring of impacts, and much more.
- Strategy Development and Program Design: Headlight provides facilitation, advisory, and tailored design services to support strategy development and program design. Headlight regularly works at high-levels of decision-making and oversight, over complex portfolios, and with a focus on multifaceted programming and contexts. With embedded systems thinking, our approach is able to demonstrate the interdependencies, necessary partners, and progress markers needed for effective and sustainable strategies, all based on existing and newly gathered (when necessary) evidence. Headlight’s Strategy Development services include, but are not limited to:
- Delivering learning reviews (intensive evidence deep dives with summative findings and actionable recommendations) to leverage existing evidence to inform strategy design;
- Providing advisory and facilitation services to support multi-stakeholder consultations, workshopping, and the overarching process of strategy development;
- Designing, facilitating, and operationalizing Systems-Based Theories of Change for better articulation of what is within the strategy’s sphere of control, interdependencies with other actors, and how to achieve systems-level outcomes;
- Integrating systems thinking tools to connect disperse, varied, and complex programming and contexts under one cohesive strategy; and,
- Designing, facilitating, and implementing sustainability plans to enable seamless handovers, identification of tipping points, and scale to systems-level outcomes.
- Organizational Behavior Change: Headlight provides robust assessment, facilitation, and management support tools to enable organizational behavior change. The new push on uptake of evidence in the international development field, the increased implementation of learning agendas, adaptive management, and transition moments will all require behavior change from affected organizations. Sometimes these processes are smoother than others, but all can benefit from an external party that can bring the information, tools, and resources necessary to bring colleagues on board with changes, capture feedback loops to iterate on the change process, and ensure timely and sustained application of the desired changes. Headlight’s organizational behavior change solutions are tailored to each clients needs, size, and the magnitude of the change, but all services are based on data-driven decision making and trustworthy advisory support through the process.
Who are we?
Right now Headlight is a small but mighty team that is quickly growing. There are two partners, providing the technical expertise, relationships, and historical understanding of the field leading the firm’s growth and development. And as of March 2020, we have one full-time staff member and work with a larger team of consultants to provide tailored, high quality, and technically exceptional services to all our clients.
Rebecca Herrington, CEO and Director of Strategic Learning
Rebecca Herrington is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning technical specialist with 13 years’ experience, including a proven strategic advising, systems thinking, and collaborative learning track record. Ms. Herrington has expertise in international development and conflict, specifically complexity programming, with a keen ability to provide actionable evidence delivery and strategic communications. She is trained in human-centered design techniques by IDEO and possesses a robust facilitation toolkit. Ms. Herrington is also an expert in qualitative methods and rigor, including but not limited to developmental evaluation, process tracing, outcome harvesting, and positive deviance. Most recently, she has been helping to design the USAID Digital Strategy, develop monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans for the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership activities, serves as the M&E thought partner for GSMA’s Mobile for Development programs, and supports systems-based theory of change and learning agenda development for USAID/Ethiopia. Ms. Herrington has field and academic experience throughout Central America, MENA, and East Africa, with over 5 years living and working abroad in rural, conflict-affected and transitional communities.
Cindy Clapp-Wincek, Senior Evaluation Advisor
Cindy Clapp-Wincek is an international development program evaluation expert with over 40 years’ experience in public-private partnerships, conflict and high threat environments, hunger, policy reform, child labor and education, roads, irrigation, private sector, and world health issues. She is adept at building capacity for advancing aid program results using appropriate strategic planning, performance monitoring and evaluation techniques to achieve program impact efficiently and effectively. She facilitates and streamlines processes of translating policy to action leveraging her extensive experience and expertise to meet clients’ needs and her training toolkit to ensure sustainable capacity is built. Ms. Clapp-Wincek was the director of the newly created Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research at USAID from 2011 to 2014, charged with building out this new office and implementing a new evaluation policy for the Agency. Based on studies commissioned by the office, the quality and quantity of evaluation reports improved during her tenure and awareness and understanding of evaluation principles and practices greatly expanded. Most recently, she has been advising a new Office for Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Department of Defense for their Security Cooperation Enterprise.
Chelsie Kuhn, MEL Associate
Chelsie Kuhn is a dedicated professional with 5 years of experience in supporting efficient, effective, and evidence-based operations both with NGOs and in academia. She brings a strong background in managing large groups of diverse stakeholders and a data-driven mindset to project management. Prior to joining Headlight, Ms. Kuhn was responsible for assisting more than 20 offices at a large 4-year public university with assessing program outcomes, developing and coordinating strategic plans, meeting annual reporting deadlines, and working toward continuous improvement through collaborative learning efforts. Since joining Headlight, she has contributed to qualitative data analysis and report writing to develop a Learning Review for USAID/BiH and drafting of MEL Frameworks for some of GSMA’s Mobile for Development programs.
How can you engage and collaborate with us?
Headlight would love to talk about collaboration, partnership, and other opportunities to support data-driven decision making in your work! We have the breadth and depth of expertise, experience, and toolbox to tailor-design a solution for you. For more information about our services please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Headlight Consulting Services, LLP is a certified women-owned small business and therefore eligible for sole source procurements. We can be found on the Dynamic Small Business Search or on SAM.gov via our name or DUNS number (081332548).