Twenty-four hours after a 3-day Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation training, organized by Development Measures in Abuja, participants were seen discussing M & E, as if it was breaking news. The excitement was obvious, but understandable. The rich content of the Workshop made the difference. The outing was indeed, an eye-opener to the endless opportunities that abound in the indispensable area – Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E).
For Jennifer Ukaobasi, a lawyer, it was time well-spent. “This training is one of the best things that have happened to me in my pursuit of knowledge. I enjoyed every minute I spent at the Workshop. Monitoring and Evaluation is an indispensable aspect of project implementation. Of all the trainings I have attended, this, I must confess is exceptionally rich. They broke down M & E to the level of understanding of all and you can see; now, I talk M and E; I eat M and E; I have developed love for M and E and I am now an M and E professional. I was taught by some of the best hands in the field in the country and beyond. I would not have forgiven myself if I missed the workshop.”
The 3-day Workshop was held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 19th to 21st of July, 2017, with about forty participants in attendance.
Speaking at the event, President, Development Measures Global Network and Monitoring and Evaluation expert, Emmanuel Uche, described Strategy development, Monitoring and Evaluation as essential in every project.
According to him, “the training is part of the organisation’s Institutional strengthening capacity building series, aimed at improving the operational capacity, programme impact and sustainability; targeting non-state actors. The failure of projects in Nigeria is as a result of failure in managing for results.”
“This training is aimed at building the capacity of participants, sharpening their skills, and deepening their understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Managing for Results, for greater productivity.”
In his presentation on Managing for Results: Foundational, Logic and the Project Cycle, Uche explained that “Managing for Results or Results-Based Monitoring is the collection and analysis of data to determine whether or not projects of programme activities are contributing to the achievement of stated aims and objectives.”
He defined Evaluation as “an assessment of a planned, ongoing, or completed intervention to determine its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability.”
Also in his paper entitled: approaches to Managing for Results – the PMP, The Log frame and M4P, he made a case for a clear understanding of each of the approaches before they are adopted by professionals; even as he also gave practical examples on developing a Logical Framework.
Speaking on Understanding Evaluation, its triggers and Meta-Evaluation, Uche described effective monitoring of a project as the foundation for effective evaluation of all such projects.
He explained that the essence of monitoring and evaluation is to guide funding decision of projects.
In her presentation on: “Understanding Strategy”, Dr. Ada Isabella Igbokwe described it as central to the success of every endeavor, without which there may not be proper direction in projects implementation.
Speaking on Strategic Planning Imperatives, Igbokwe argued that strategic planning is an integral part of every programme, if it must be successful.
Presenting a paper on: Understanding Results, Indicators, Baselines and Targets, a Professor of Economics, Onyukwu Onyukwu argued that: “over five-decade experience of less than satisfactory effectiveness and efficiency of aid in terms of the achievement of development objectives led to a shift in programming focus at the turn of the millennium. The international community thus shifted its focus from ensuring quality aid activities to ensuring aid development results. This shift produced an increasing demand for thorough planning and evaluation of the development results of aid interventions. The best way to refocus on results and not activities is to determine the organisations/programme key result areas during the planning stage.”
On Data Analysis and Reporting, Professor Onyukwu described data collection as an integral part of a monitoring and evaluation system, arguing that performance is better measured through data.
“Inferences from analyzed data help to determine if programme goals have been attained; thus, there could be better resource mapping. Data come from various sources and through various instruments and they can be used as advocacy tools.”
Other resource persons include: Oduenyi Okonkwo, who spoke on: The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, Work planning and Operational Plan; Dr. Walter Duru, among others.
Some of the organisations that participated in the event were: Africa Network on Environment and Economic Justice – ANEEJ; Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption – MIIVOC; Lawyers Alert, African Center for Human advancement and resource support, Development Measures; Human Support Initiatives, among many others.
Development Measures is a private non-governmental organization, committed to building institutional capacities to effectively manage for results in both public and private spheres.
They have their key competencies in the provision of consultancy services around governance strengthening, strengthening system for accountability and transparency, organizational strategy development and performance management, system studies, research and evaluation.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)