There is a wide recognition that the way to influence public policy is sinuous and forked. Therefore, to track and understand what happened requires resources, time and efforts to systematize. Not surprisingly, the practices of monitoring, evaluating and learning are scarce in developing countries. However, incorporating these practices into the daily life of the think tanks is well worth it. The use of these tools can be a smart organizational strategy to enhance the impact of their research in public policy, which is an increasing concern of both the institutions and their donors. On the other hand, an effective M&E&L plan can help them build their reputation and visibility, and attract more and better support to their work. Last but not least, it can generate valuable knowledge for all members of the organization if it is implemented with a genuine interest in learning.
P&I has developed this course with the collaboration of:
- Southern Hemisphere. A leading, dynamic, socio-economic development consultancy which contributes to creating a better world through strengthening transformative processes for social justice. Southern Hemisphere specialises in participatory development interventions with a focus on building learning organisations. It assists the State, NGOs, academic institutions, civil society groups, CSIs, multi-lateral organisations and donors through: applied research and evaluations, design and planning of development projects and monitoring and evaluation systems, capacity building and organisational strategy.
- Kristie Evenson. Research practitioner on development of policy research organizational capacities with a variety of donors. As a researcher she is particularly interested in developing and using policy research to inform donor democratization and civil society strategies. She is based in Croatia and works in the Europe and Eurasia region as well as comparatively. She holds a doctorate of Social Science Degree from the University of Bristol, UK and a Master’s Degree from SIPA, Columbia University.
Curriculum of the online training to strengthen M&E&L on policy influence in Central and Eastern Europe
Module 1. Rethinking how to monitor, evaluate and learn about policy influence
- Why monitor, evaluate and learn. In which areas do you want to do better.
- Re-visiting your beliefs on success and failure.
- Who will benefit from M,E&L. The advantages of a user focused approach.
- Dealing with the “beast”: What is really policy influence. Can we monitor and evaluate it.
- Facing wicked problems. Acknowledging complexity.
Module 2. Building a monitoring and evaluation system for a learning organization. Step 1: Situation Analysis
- The 4 main steps to develop an M&E&L system
- Step 1: Situation Analysis. How can we assess our organisations capacity and interest in engaging with M&E&L for policy influence.
- What should be assessed.
- Who leads / participates.
- Main questions.
- Data collection methods and tools: Stakeholder Analysis, SWOT Analysis and M&E&L Organisational capacity assessment.
- Sharing the report.
Module 3. Step 2: Design. Key decisions and challenges in designing your M&E&L strategy and plan
- Time to define an M&E&L strategy.
- For what level should we design our M&E&L system.
- Setting policy oriented objectives. How do we understand the change.
- Leadership and coordination.
- Learning: continuous improvement and evaluative thinking.
Module 4. So now, what and how we will monitor and evaluate
- What kind of contribution? Types and levels of impact.
- An M&E&L matrix: defining key questions and criteria for monitoring and evaluating policy influence.
- How to find the right indicators: Indicators for outputs and Indicators for outcomes.
- What is the meaning behind data.
Module 5. Time for data collection and implementation
- Data collection tools: the importance of establishing your right mix.
- Devising your own methodologies: Using an approach, Phases of M&E&L and Sources of information.
- Some innovative tools and approaches: Public policy tracking, Bellwether methodology, Outcome mapping and After action review
- Implementation: developing an M&E plan.
Module 6. Time to learn
- Time to learn: the L of the equation.
- Managing data effectively.
- Welcome to debate, reflection and decision-making.
- Analysing and presenting data. Monitoring (or progress) reports and Final evaluation reports.
- Socialising new knowledge: we learn, we use.
- ‘I have learned a lot and participation in this course inspired me to change completely approach in designing and implementation of M&E&L in my organisation.’ (Ivan Knezevic, European Movement in Serbia)
- ‘The course allowed me to think about policy influence much more systematically. What I will try to enforce in my organization is to think this systematically from the beginning of each project as it will help us to more effectively connect desired outcomes with outputs we are able to produce.’ (Samuel Spac, Transparency International Slovakia)
- ‘I have shared the materials with colleagues and all of us are pretty amazed with detailed and systematic presentation of the information.’ (Biljana Sekulic, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Montenegro)
- ‘I learned to think on policy influence in much wider perspective than before.’ (Stevo Muk, Institut alternativa, Montenegro)
- ‘The course is of very high quality in terms of introducing so many new ideas and tools. It was an excellent learning space. It would be useful to ask our staff members to explore those new ideas, tools and approaches in more depth and present to us. You have widened our knowledge about diversity of opportunities to learn.’ (Ullviyya Mikyailova, Center for Innovations in Education, Azerbaijan)
- ‘The course was to the point, very concise and facilitators were terrific with the feedback. I learned a lot, had a complete new and useful perspective opened to me. I will continue to go back to the modules and the issues that were discussed.’ (Migena Buka, Agenda Institute, Albania)
If you are interested in P&I capacity building activities, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.