Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL)
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The collective provides packaged and custom services to small businesses, nonprofits, and municipal and state governments.
Frequently asked questions
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is used to assess the performance of projects, institutions and programmes set up by governments, international organizations and NGOs. Its goal is to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. Monitoring is a continuous assessment of programmes based on early detailed information on the progress or delay of the ongoing assessed activities.
- The M&E is separated into two distinguished categories: evaluation and monitoring. An evaluation is a systematic and objective examination concerning the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of activities in the light of specific objectives.
An important goal of evaluation is to provide recommendations and lessons to the project managers and implementation teams that have worked on the projects and for the ones that will implement and work on similar projects. Evaluations are also indirectly a means to report to the donor about the activities implemented. It is a means to verify that the donated funds are being well managed and transparently spent. The evaluators are supposed to check and analyze the budget lines and to report the findings in their work.
Monitoring is a continuous assessment that aims at providing all stakeholders with early detailed information on the progress or delay of the ongoing assessed activities. It is an oversight of the activity’s implementation stage. Its purpose is to determine if the outputs, deliveries and schedules planned have been reached so that action can be taken to correct the deficiencies as quickly as possible. Good planning, combined with effective monitoring and evaluation, can play a major role in enhancing the effectiveness of development programs and projects. Good planning helps focus on the results that matter, while monitoring and evaluation help us learn from past successes and challenges and inform decision making so that current and future initiatives are better able to improve people’s lives and expand their choices.
For organizations, monitoring and evaluation is how your organization assess and demonstrates effectiveness in achieving its goals. Evaluation improves internal learning and decision-making about service implementation, project design, how the group operates, and identifies success factors, barriers, which approaches work, and which do not etc. The collection of data is meant to empower and motivate staff and volunteers to take action and learn from mistakes. M&E helps measure aspects of organization, such as:
- Relevance/acceptability – how relevant are your projects to different demographic sections of the community?
- Effectiveness – are you achieving your objectives (e.g. in relation to attitudes & values; behaviours; public support; community
- capacity/local resilience; the wider movement; improved policies & increased democratic space)? What internal or external factors are Facilitating/constraining progress?
- Impact – what is your impact on people’s lives (e.g. in relation to the ultimate changes in people’s lives or environment as a result of our initiatives)?
- Contribution/attribution – what contribution have you made to outcomes and impacts (in relation to other factors/actors)?
Participatory mapping is an ancient form of transferring information using cartographic methods. Participatory mapping has been used to identify the location of activities, programs, organizations, resources, and other important elements of our human environment. Using participatory mapping, organizations can crowd source various information from the public or specific groups to be used in program implementation, policy making, and governance. For more information about participatory mapping, please visit the International Society of Particpatory Mapping.
The goal of M&E is to collect data on aspects of collective activities and participatory mapping allows to collect data across geographies and help users with placemaking and resource evaluation. OT Collective’s primary goal is to make monitoring and evaluation easier on resource strapped organizations. Sometimes this requires tools that collect data over vast geographies, making the using of geographic information systems (GIS).
OrganizingTogether Consultancy Group is a consulting collective with consultants from a wide background of expertise, including public planning, community development, statistics, geography, environmental and earth sciences, program design, and business forecasting.
General methods include:
Logical Framework Approach (LFA)
Data Envelopment Analyses (DEA)
Economic Impact Analyses (EIA)
Environmental Impact Assessment
OT Consultancy went above and beyond throughout the entire project. Charla was so responsive and helpful. I knew I could count on her to meet deadlines and produce quality resources and reports for our grant project. Not only did Charla complete everything agreed upon in our contract, but provided additional support and resources that were needed when our program changed and we needed to adapt. Thank you Charla and everyone at OT Consultancy! This was an incredible experience and I cannot wait to work with you again in the future.
We have been working with Charla and OT planning a major substance abuse prevention and overdose prevention project that will eventually be state wide. While we are not yet into the implementation phase, Charla’s thought and direction thus far has been very helpful. Very excited to continue our work with them in the future.
The team at OT Consultancy has been a dream to work with! With all the tight deadlines set for our project they were able to go above and beyond assisting us every step of the way! Charla and the team is clearly passionate about community organizations and strengthening their skill sets. I recommend OT Consultancy to any organization looking for a hands on consultancy team. I look forward to working together again in the future!