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July 30, 2018

CAMRIS Conducts Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Trainings for USAID/Nepal and Implementing Partner Staff

The CAMRIS-implemented, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nepal Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Activity recently held several training sessions for USAID and implementing partner (IP) staff. USAID’s Nepal MEL Activity supports the achievement of USAID/Nepal’s development objectives in agriculture, health, education, democracy and governance, the environment, and climate change by assisting the Mission in planning, designing, conducting, disseminating, and learning from more rigorous monitoring and evaluation of development activities. The MEL Activity has three main components: support greater rigor and coherence in USAID/Nepal’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts; design and conduct analyses, evaluations, surveys, studies, and assessments; and support improved knowledge management within the Mission.  In addition, the MEL Activity is charged with strengthening the capacity of IP and Mission staff in all MEL related areas. 

CAMRIS’s Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Advisor Gary Russell led the trainings in Nepal, which included the following courses: Understanding Theory of Change (TOC) and Developing Logical and Results Frameworks Approach (LFRF); Developing Effective Performance Indicators and Performance Indicator Reference Sheets (PIRS); and Crafting Quality Evaluation Statements of Work (SOWs). The MEL Activity trained Mission and IP staff separately on the first two subjects and trained only Mission staff on the third subject.

The focus of the TOC/LFRF training was to explain the theory of change and logic model that underpins Mission logical and results frameworks that articulate the design of mission strategies and projects and serve as the basis for project and activity monitoring and evaluation. 

        

 Mission and IP participants of the Theory of Change/Logical Framework Approach training sessions that took place from July 17-18, 2018 (left) and July 10-11, 2018 (right).

       

Left photo: Dr. Sunil Regmi from USAID’s Knowledge-Based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture in Nepal (KISAN) II Project presents his work to the group (July 17-18, 2018). Right photo: Mr. Rajeev Banjara presents the TOC he developed during a group exercise as part of the TOC/Logical Framework training (July 17-18, 2018).

The training session on developing indicators and PIRS was to enhance participants knowledge and skills in developing performance and context indicators that are specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, and time-bound (SMART); tracking indicators to measure progress and context and generate data for decision making; establishing baselines and targets; and preparing and using PIRS to assure data  quality through consistent data collection and reporting. 

     

Left photo: IP participants of the Indicators and PIRS Development training (July 13, 2018). Right photo: Mission and IP participants of the Indicators and PIRS Development training (July 16, 2018).

Participants engaged in discussion during the training on indicators and PIRS.

During the session on evaluation SOW, Mission staff learned the importance of the evaluation SOW in the evaluation process; how to craft precise evaluation questions to determine the relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability of a project; how to develop a “Getting to Answers” matrix; and how to draft the design and methodology section of a SOW; and more.

       

Left photo: Mission participants of the Evaluation SOW session held in July 2018. Right photo: Mission participants of the Evaluation SOW session held in July 2018.

To reinforce the learning and allow participants the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise,  throughout all three training sessions, Mission and IP staff engaged in robust group exercises and discussions. Formal feedback on the trainings gathered from all participants was overwhelmingly favorable. Participants found the training useful and relevant to their jobs and stated that they felt better equipped to fulfill their performance MEL responsibilities. 

CAMRIS remains committed to further strengthening the capacities of USAID and implementing partner staff so they can more effectively perform their MEL responsibilities.