“Consistent data comes from a careful data collection process. M & E data captured should speak for itself even when the person who captured it is not around. Any error affects the entire M & E system.” John Ssendagire, a Consultant from REALT Consultants Global Limited.
Quarterly, the organization equips staff with more expertise to help them carry out their tasks. Yesterday, the team were equipped with more knowledge and skills in Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E); and the training was conducted by REALT Consultants Global Limited. Some of the topics facilitated about included: difference between monitoring and evaluation; M & E concepts; relevance of M & E; M & E Data capturing tools; M & E Data safety; responsibilities of staff in M & E; M & E resources; and uses of M & E data.
During the training, John facilitated about the M & E concepts which included: M & E plan, M & E framework, M & E tools, M & E data and M & E system.
He defined Monitoring as the systematic, regular, observation and recording of activities done by organization staff on a given project or program while Evaluation as a systematic, guided process that an organization undertakes to critically examine its project or program.
He encouraged the team to be very careful while collecting data and said that an activity conducted by someone is equally important as the M & E data that is collected. He added by saying that any activity has current or future benefit to the organization; “sometimes, you may collect data that may seen not important then but could be very important in future,” he said.
Some of the uses of M & E data included:
- To inform decisions (for efficient resource allocation)
- To realign project focus
- To draw lessons for future projects
- To inform design of new project
- Is a means of reporting to the donor
- To be accountable (to the donor, community, country)
He emphasized that M & E data during data collection, the information must be clear; anyone collecting data must comprehend and always make sure that they have the necessary requirements (documents, equipment, among other tools) needed to effectively capture data.