Written by Mekong Institute

The Project Monitoring and Evaluation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Learning Program was co-designed and delivered by the GMS Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management (PPP) and the Mekong Institute (MI). The program was conducted from 16 – 28 January 2011 at the Mekong Institute Residential Training Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand. The two-week intensive learning program was designed as a deepening and follow up program for alumni who have attended previous Project Feasibility and Design and Project Management learning programs at Mekong Institute. This program demonstrated to participants how to conduct and use monitoring and evaluation concepts, tools and techniques at different stages of the project cycle.  

This Project Monitoring & Evaluation learning program aims to enhance the technical skills of targeted government officials in designing and conducting project monitoring or evaluation and presenting the findings and recommendations to the respective project key stakeholders in the context of GMS cooperation and integration. Eighteen participants comprised of middle-level government officials from a wide variety of ministries in the GMS countries (China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) participated in the program.

The program was designed and taught by a team of four experienced trainers: two PPP-commissioned project management experts and two MI faculty members. As a whole, the learning program explored the Project Monitoring Framework Appraisal System. It commenced with the skills in using the Project LogFrame or Design and Monitoring Framework in appraising project proposals using ADB Quality Assurance Checklist in evaluating/assessing project design logic and monitorability. The program also covered topics on project Control System, Results-Based Evaluation, Tools and Techniques in M &E, Qualitative and Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis, and Report Preparation and Presentation. A case study entitled North South Economic Corridor developed by the trainers was used to give participants practical experience in conducting situation analysis (stakeholders, problems, objectives) and designing project monitoring and evaluation in accordance with ADB Design and Monitoring Framework.

Program learning methodologies included practical applications of project monitoring and evaluation techniques and tools through group exercises, simulations and case studies. Two salient features of this training course are (i) its emphasis on the empowerment and meaningful engagement of different key stakeholders in the design, planning, implementation of project monitoring and evaluation; and (ii) having an opportunity to practice using different tools and techniques in Reporting and Presenting the M&E findings and recommendations to key stakeholders.

The overall results of program evaluation showed that participants were highly satisfied with the learning program contents and methodologies employed. The post test evaluation results showed that 78% of the participants have reached D (working knowledge and skills level) and E (good knowledge /highly skilled) levels. Moreover, the participants also demonstrated increased ability in communication, presentation, information management, cultural competency, and team skills. Working in multi-country groups have also strengthened personal ties to improve national cultural understanding which bodes well for future intergovernmental collaboration within the region.
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Seventeen Government Officials who are directly involved in Aid Management participated in the training; Ten from six divisions of DIC, two from Infrastructure Sub-Working Group and five from Macro SWG. Ten of the participants are female.

Mr. Bouasavath Inthavanh Deputy Director General of DIC and Mr. Sysomphorn Phetdaoheuang, project Manger of Enhancing Aid Effectiveness Project, and Dr. Savengkith Phommhak, Deputy team Leader of the Project were actively participated in the training as local resource persons and provided much needed case studies, Lao ODA context, past experiences and good practices throughout the training course.

Four sub-projects under the North-South Economic corridor Development Project were used as case studies fro participants to practice developing Design and Monitoring Framework, reviewing Project Administration memorandum, planning project monitoring and evaluation , conclusion and recommendations and using lessons learned for future project design and planning.

Different M&E tools were employed during the course including Mood Barometer, suggestion box, feed backing, focused group discussion, end-of-workshop evaluation and plan to action. The evaluation results show that participants are satisfied with the training contents, methodologies and the competence of resource persons. Case studies, exercises and simulations are relevant and applicable to their works. Several participants recommended that a follow up workshop be organized after a six-month application period to share lessons learned and good practices and learn more in-depth using M7E methods and tools.

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