Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Conducting outcomes based Assessments in Monitoring and Evaluation

What are Outcomes?

When preparing your first developmental programme or project there are significantly many things your organization would like to achieve. You have to understand that in the developmental world and even in Monitoring and Evaluation results always matters. Donors are not willing to keep supporting your programme or project if their funds invested does not translate to tangible results. As a programme or project coordinator or as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer this is something you should never choose to ignore because at the end of the day you have to report on something tangible and fantastic. So, what are outcomes? What are outcome indicators and why are they important? Outcomes are simply the intended or unintended change that happens as a result of an intervention. When you have a set number of activities you want to do in a project or programme, there is need to remember that these interventions must translate to something. You may build alot of houses for a given community in a programme or project but what is the outcome of that? What change in the peoples lives can we be able to see after those beautiful lavish homes have been built. Thats what really outcomes are about, it is rarley about the numbers alone but the change in peoples thinking, peoples livelihoods, peoples sense of well being that you really want to know when you create outcomes. Now, to measure the change of that you need outcome indicators.

Outcome Indicators, why so important in programmes?

Remember you have a lot of eyes watching and scrutinizing you to see whether your implementation is going well including your Donors. You have to understand that in the world of Monitoring and Evaluation you want to report results to people whether good or bad. You have to explain those results and finally you have to justify those results. The first step in doing all that significantly outrageous exercise is by establishing exactly what you are measuring then doing the actual measuring. For example you have a programme that has an outcome to see all your farmers improve their yields, what outcome indicators will you choose to use? Remember that indicators are variables that give you a means to measure whether there is an increase or decrease...In this case the best indicator for improved yield would be productivity or production. Simple isnt it. Now when you have properly defined outcome indicators will you thoroughly communicate your strong findings to key stakeholders and thats when you can begin to open a bottle of champagne.

Outcome assessments, a threat or just a friendly exercise?

Don't pretend you didn't know that day would come for your programme to be assessed in depth. For many development workers its a time of headache and much anguish because they don't know what would come out of the assessment of their programme. However in the case of an outcome assessment it doesn't necessary have to always be an evaluation. No really, sometimes its just about seeing whether your outcomes are still relevant to the programme of simply put, seeing whether there has been any kind of improvement in the results for a given outcome. Monitoring and Evaluation is all about tracking and learning from your mistakes, if it is seen that progress is not being seen in a certain outcome, that's an opportunity to improve but not to start the blame game. So what is an Outcome Assessment, well its an analysis for the results seen in specific outcomes that your project or programme aims to achieve. Remember that this assessment is not done regularly since outcomes take time to show change. Outcome assessment are a completely friendly exercise. See you later Researchers!!!!!!!!


Post a Comment


Copyright © Monitoring and Evaluation Design by O Pregador | Blogger Theme by Blogger Template de luxo | Powered by Blogger