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Monitoring, evaluation and learning to manage and implement research projects at think tanks

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Rezarta Delibashzade, Project management/Researcher at the Democracy for Development Institute (D4D)  from Kosovo. It is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

 

I am Rezarta Delibashzade and I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend “ Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence”.

I work at Democracy for Development Institute (D4D) as project manager/researcher. D4D is a think-tank aiming at including the development of independent public policy

I, as a Project Manager, have found the training extremely useful in managing and implementing various projects I am involved in. Monitoring and evaluation is crucial for reporting and accountability, demonstrating performance, and learning from experience which all lead towards improving the work of the organizationresearch in socio-economic development, governance, and formation of political parties as well as the development of inter-ethnic, regional and international relations. Therefore, monitoring and evaluation are needed to determine the degree to which D4D has proved success in strengthening its own organizational capacity, producing policy research, facilitating increased involvement of civil society in the policy dialogue and process, and contributing to the nature of the policy debate and actual policy formulation.

Based on the knowledge I have gained during the course combined with the nature of the organization I work for, in the context of the monitoring and evaluation, at D4D we apply two types of assessments:

  • Outputs Assessment – that is reviewing the quantity and quality of outputs (what D4D produces/offers), and
  • Impact Assessment – evaluating the organizational and policy impact of the grant (what impact it has on the grantee, policy, and society).

In order to measure the degree to which D4D succeeds, I utilize the tools that I have learned during the Monitoring & Evaluation & Learning course. Starting from SWOT, where now I feel more confident to find the hidden threats and weaknesses and working more on them, and using evaluation of each plot. Also measuring outcomes through indicators, was a really good tool, which now we use in our organization.

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