Networking, learning and capacity building is at the heart of everything GoPhilanthropic does. We were delighted earlier this month when we could bring all those aspects of our work together in a 2-day workshop in Delhi with our partners from India and Nepal.
Led by a local Monitoring and Evaluation expert, Munish, the two-day workshop was filled with energy and laughter, not what you expect when you think of learning about monitoring and evaluation!
With a focus on simplifying and moving beyond the jargon, we focused on the CHANGES we wanted to see in our communities, bearing in mind that our partners are small grassroots organizations and the approach needs to be simple and easy to implement into our every day work.
With easy to relate examples, we learned and laughed together focusing on some key themes, such as:
MONITORING STARTS AS SOON AS EXECUTION STARTS
If you are trying to lose five kgs in six weeks, would you weigh yourself once a week or at the end? If you weigh yourself (monitor) once a week you can assess your progress and change how much you exercise or eat, to increase the chance of reaching your objective! If you wait until the end, it too late.
COMPLETION OF AN ACTIVITY DOES NOT MEAN CHANGE
The government built 5,200 toilets, but the city is not cleaner! Building toilets is an activity. The CHANGE would be how many people are actually USING the toilets.
THE CHANGE IS ‘THEY’ NOT ‘WE’
Rather than reporting that: ‘We conducted the meeting successfully and 25 women participated and were happy’ what we need to know is: ‘Out of 25 women attending the meeting, 15 women agreed to create a Self Help Group’. What do THEY do after the activity?
USE THE BEST POSSIBLE MINIMUM INDICATORS
In the NGO world, it is easy to try to measure so many things that it becomes overwhelming and the likelihood of compiling, analyzing and learning from the data is minimal. Instead it is important to pick just a few things that are really important to your organization and collect data on those.
After two days everyone was energized and eager to apply the learning in their respective organizations. At GoPhil, we are committed to implementing this into our work – and supporting our NGO partners to do the same. And now our partners have all met and got to know each other, the group is keep to continue working together – we have already scheduled our next follow up call in end November to review what progress we’ve all made!