With support from Amplify for Change, Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) held a two day in-house training on Monitoring and Evaluation from 14th -15th of April, 2016 for her staff. The training is part of the organization’s strategy to strengthen staff’s capacity to develop and use monitoring and evaluation tools for project implementation as well overall organizational development.
The training facilitated by Mr. Patrick Tumusiime (Individual Consultant)was quite intensive given the fact that there were number of topical issues that had to be covered in a very short period of time.
The training which was mostly practical and experienced based entailed sessions on definitions of key M& E terminologies, appreciation of the need for monitoring and evaluation, key M& E questions(Are we doing what we set out to do?, Are we making a difference?, Are we strategically relevant?). The training also entailed discussions on developing log frames, SMART Goals, Outcomes, Outputs, and indicators, effective reporting, communication, financial monitoring and its relevance, and mapping of the barriers of M&E at AMwA.
Some of the key learnings from the training included;
- An output does not depend on time as perceived by many, it may take a long period of time therefore you cannot use time to differentiate an output from an outcome e.g. the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Bill in Uganda would be an output of the women’s struggle for a comprehensive law on marriage that will have taken over 40 years to be realized.
- Integration of Monitoring and Evaluation is not a technical issue as perceived by many organizations but rather a value based issue as it seeks to address the commitment, impact and strategic relevance of organizations.
- Organizations need to move away from conducting M&E for donors and other stakeholders and re-orient themselves to focus M&E for the benefit of the organization.
- All projects need to always have a baseline survey conducted as it’s based on this that you are able to measure your performance indicators. “ Its dirty work to measure a project without a baseline”
- Integrate Key Performance Indicators and results into staff Job Descriptions and/ or agreements
- Organizations need to segment their audience and appreciate how to best report to different stakeholders taking into account their audience’s interests and not necessarily their own interest. “One size fits all does not work in knowledge management”
- Sustainability is not about sustaining the output of a given process but rather the outcome.
Overall the 2 day training was a great opportunity for AMwA staff to appreciate the relevance of M&E and reflect on how to best integrate it into the organization especially at such a critical time when AMwA is crafting a new strategic plan 2017-2021.