For FHI 360, the purpose of a monitoring and evaluation plan is to help us gain a deeper understanding of the communities and people we support, by allowing us to craft solutions that deliver serious impact. In other words, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is in our DNA.
What is Monitoring and Evaluation?
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are processes that help improve project and organizational performance so that you can achieve the results you want. The monitoring piece of M&E provides detailed information on assessed activities and where improvements can be made. The evaluation side refers to the examination of a program to understand what has been achieved.
The appetite for M&E planning and training has been increasing steadily over the years. Organizations want to be able to understand what works and what does not—and amend activities accordingly. Funders want to see if and how projects reached objectives and how their money is being used. The public wants to consume meaningful stories about project impacts and opportunities. With all this in mind, it is clear that a strong, thoughtful M&E plan is critical to the richness of your narrative, no matter who shares it with or where you sit in your project or organization.
CLARITY IS KEY TO M&E SUCCESS
When developing an M&E plan, we need to be really clear about what we want to measure, who is going to collect the information, and what we want to do with it once we have it. Integrating M&E into a project’s design and implementation is the optimal approach – the information we derive is critical to understanding whether or not our programs are achieving our objectives and enable us to report to our stakeholders and funders.
M&E is its own discipline, and not everyone has a background in it. To help support M&E training initiatives, we’ve created the Planning for Monitoring and Evaluation in collaboration with Philanthropy University. This free, online course offers opportunities for anyone to learn about M&E, or to enhance his or her skills. We designed the course in bite-sized pieces, and learners have the opportunity to practice what they learn and to build from one piece to the next at their own pace.
What Our Monitoring & Evaluation Course Covers
If you register and enroll in our free, online M&E training course, you’ll learn about a variety of topics including:
- What makes a good indicator within an M&E plan for a project?
- How can gathering data help tell a project’s story?
We cover these key pieces of M&E (and more) through practical exercises and virtual peer networking. This allows participants to deep dive into discussions on specific concepts and practice what they learn as they move through the program.
Our best advice? Take this course, no matter what role you play in your organization or project. You will be surprised at how quickly and how often opportunities to apply M&E concepts come up every day. Empower yourself with an understanding of why and how your work is achieving your goals so that your organization or project can continue to help provide real and meaningful impact in the lives of people around the world.
ENROLL IN PLANNING FOR MONITORING AND EVALUATION
In the free, six-week online course, you will learn how successful projects plan for data collection, management, analysis, and use. To learn more, visit the Planning for Monitoring and Evaluation course page at Philanthropy University.
Image provided by FHI 360/Jessica Scranton.