Written by Mekong Institute
This Project Monitoring and Evaluation Learning Program was co-designed and delivered by the GMS Phnom Penh Plan (PPP) for Development Management and the Mekong Institute (MI). The six days intensive Project Monitoring and Evaluation in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) learning program was designed to demonstrate to the participating GMS junior civil servants how to conduct and use monitoring and evaluation concepts, tools and techniques at different stages of the project cycle. The role of different stakeholders was given emphasis in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects. The learning program was conducted from 24 February to 1 March, 2014 at the Mercure Vientiane Hotel, Lao PDR. Even though it was supposed to be held at Mekong Institute as usual, but due to the political situation in Thailand it was moved to Vientiane, Lao PDR. Overall objectives of this learning program were to develop the participants’ capacity to design, plan and implement effective monitoring and evaluation systems or activities, especially of projects that are transnational or transboundary. The NSEC case study was illustrative to ensure the overall objectives were met.
Twenty-one government officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam attended the learning program . At the end of the program, the participants developed action plans that will demonstrate their application of acquired knowledge and skills in their respective workplaces.
A team of four project management experts designed and delivered the program. According to the participants, the trainers were qualified, experienced and employed effective training delivery methods. A “very well attained” – overall performance rating for the training was given by the participants.
The learning program introduced key concepts, processes, tools and techniques in project monitoring and evaluation. It consists of the following themes and topics: Module 1: Overview of M&E and Project Cycle. Module 1 discusses the basic M&E framework, and focuses on the review of the Design Monitoring Framework (DMF) and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as basis for doing Project Monitoring and Evaluation. Module 2 is about M&E Planning and covers Stakeholder Analysis, Data Gathering Techniques, Qualitative and Quantitative Data, and M&E Team Composition. Module 3 covers Data Processing. It covers Measuring Differences using Before-After and With-Without (BAWWO) Analysis, Significance, Necessity and Sufficiency Analysis. Module 4 covers M&E Report Writing using REESI criteria and presentation skills.
The learning methodologies that were employed in the course included lectures, group activities, simulations, role plays, film showing, computer based applications, case studies and problem exercises. Participants were organized by learning teams to facilitate participatory processes and emphasize practitioner orientation and action learning. The overall results of program evaluation showed that participants were highly satisfied with the learning contents and methodologies. Program outcomes included knowledge and skills gained for professional development, such as presentation, communication, team work, internet research, and professional networking.
The participants deemed that the training course was highly successful. Part 4 of this report contains some of the participant’s recommendations, such as:
- Upgrade the NSEC case with additional photos and information on what actually happened to the project. This will reinforce the participants’ learning and appreciation of the case study.
- The 6-day learning program is just enough to cover the basic topics of Monitoring and Evaluation. Should have organized the site visit in this training because the site visit on actual regional cooperation project definitely reinforces the participant’s learning especially on the observation of the project outcome and impact, the proposed additional information on the case study will somehow cover this.
- The course content is just right for the 6-day learning program. The time allotted for the delivery of modules however, should be reviewed to keep the learning program schedule on track.