Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

P&I and contributors promote the development and implementation of viable practices of monitoring, evalu­ating and learning as a smart strategy to strengthen how research can better interact with pub­lic policy. We are keen on learning from Southern institutions that have pioneered in this field and from Northern institutions that can provide us with new ideas on how to tackle this challenge with few resources and incipient capacity.

 

Upcoming course on how to monitor, evaluate and learn on policy influence

[P&I has joined efforts with the On Think Tanks School and will offer its online course on Monitoring, Evaluating and Learning for Think Tanks within the school´s platform. The course starts on September 26th and lasts until November 11th. The fee is USD 500. The first 5 to sign-up will receive a 10% discount (Early Bird at USD450.00). And if you get one more person to sign-up OTT will offer you another 10% discount].

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GOOD evaluation engages with POWER

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Zenda Ofir, South African scientist, independent international evaluator, and knowledge management specialist. The piece was originally published at Zenda's new blog Evaluation for Development, which P&I strongly recommends.]  

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Outcome Mapping: a liberating tool for program design

[Editor’s note: This post is the third of a series of posts focused on the nitty-gritty of designing and implementing M&E systems by sharing on the ground learning and experience. This series is produced by Dena Lomofsky of Southern Hemisphere. The article announces an upcoming Outcomes Mapping Training Workshop by Southern Hemisphere.]

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Free webinar: Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) of policy influence: are the results worth the effort?

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Monitoring, evaluation and learning to manage and implement research projects at think tanks

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Rezarta Delibashzade, Project management/Researcher at the Democracy for Development Institute (D4D)  from Kosovo. It is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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M&E&L for a think tank: test drive or driving test?

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Andriy Andrusevych, Senior Policy Expert at the Resource & Analysis Center “Society and Environment” from Ukraine. It is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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Seeking a place for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning within a think tank’s institutional strategy

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Utica Stella, Communication Assistant at the Institute for Public Policy (IPP) from Republic of Moldova. It is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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A look-back into a MEL online training: an opportunity to challenge the assumptions about your daily work

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Dražen Hoffmann, Researcher of GONG from Croatia. It is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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Reflections on developing a MEL framework

[Editor's note: This post was written by Dena Lomofsky from of Southern Hemisphere. It emerges from reflection from P&I´s online course on Monitoring, evaluating and learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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Is influencing policy itself the Holy Grail?

By Linda Bullock at flickr.com under CC

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Our need to talk about power & knowledge in evaluation & policy cultures

[Editor's note: This post was written by Paul R. Kelly, PhD Researcher in Impact, Evaluation & Service Design, Lancaster University, UK. Email: paulrichardkelly@gmail.com.]

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Strenghts of think tanks for MEL: it's time to make better use of them

[Editor's note: This post was written by Dena Lomofsky from of Southern Hemisphere. It emerges from reflection from P&I´s online course on Monitoring, evaluating and learning on policy influence, supported by the Think Tank Fund and the Think Tank Initiative.]

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What influences our thinking about MEL on policy influence?

By Anne Adrian under CC at flickr.com

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Generating information for decision making: the creation of a monitoring system for the Abre Plan in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina

[Editor's note: This post is part of a series intended to share results, reflections and what facilitators and participants learned through the development and conduction of the online course “Leaders of change: developing Latin American policymakers´capacity to promote the use of knowledge in policy”.]

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Starting from where you are to evaluate, monitor and learn from policy influence: is it that simple?

Many policy research organizations are grappling with how to assess their policy influence in a sustainable, viable and meaningful manner. Some of them have tried to develop monitoring and evaluation methods with the aid of experts and/or donors but many of them failed to really implement and use these systems for many reasons: they become too time consuming, the type of indicators are too rigid for the different programs, they end up with reports that no one uses in terms of decision-making, etc.

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An active and sustainable organization to promote development

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Elena Polo, Research Analyst at AGENDA Institute, Albania. It  is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online course Re-thinking your Funding Model that took place in 2014, supported by the Think Tank Fund.]

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RAC´s takeaways on how to monitor and evaluate policy influence: the importance of starting small

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Zoryana Kozak, co-founder and Senior Policy Expert of the Resource & Analysis Centre “Society and Environment”, Ukraine. It  is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen M&E&L on policy influence in Central and Eastern Europe, supported by the Think Tank Fund.]

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The L in the M&E&L process

[Editor’s note: This post was written by Vesna Garvanlieva Andonova, Project Mana

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Monitoring and Evaluation: an Integral Part of the Organizational Strategy

[Editor’s note:  This post was written by Albana Rexha, Research Fellow at Group for Legal and Political Studies. This post is part of a series of reflections from participants and facilitators of the Online training to strengthen M&E&L on policy influence in Central and Eastern Europe, supported by the Think Tank Fund.]

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e-Reflections on M&E&L and lessons from P&I´s online course

By Anne Davis 773 under CC at flickr.com

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Fostering the use of evaluation and research in policy making: the Presidency's Department of Planning, M&E in South Africa.

[Editor's note: This post was written by Ian Goldman, Head of Evaluation and Research at Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Presidency of South Africa.]

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How to use research to improve health programs and services? Lessons from applying a self-assessment tool in institutional settings in three regions in Colombia

[Editor's Note: This post was written by Luz Helena Sanchez Gomez, MD MPH. She is Executive Director and Senior Researcher at the Colombian Association for Health in the field of Health Policy & Systems.]

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As the year goes by…our After Action Review

2014 has been a very fruitful year for Politics&Ideas. We have conducted some new and interesting capacity building projects, we were able to test new ideas, and we have participated in very engaging conversations on the topics that inspire us.

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How to analyze the results of policy influencing: lessons from a new method under construction

[Editor's note: This post was written by Juan Fernández Labbé, researcher and coordinator of M&E Unit at RIMISP-Centro Latinoamericano para el Desarrollo Rural, a Chilean think tank.]

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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning as an Organizational Development Process

[Editor's note: This post was written by Kristie Evenson, a research practitioner on development of policy research organizational capacities, based in Croatia and working in the Europe and Eurasia region.]

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Implementing an M&E system – a postcard from the trenches

[Editor's note: This post was written by Mari-Lise du Preez. She served as programme manager at the Governance of Africa's Resources Programme -  a policy research programme of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). She is currently on sabbatical.

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Monitoring and evaluation for management

[Editor's note: This post originally appeared at On Think Tanks. It is part of a series of posts reflecting on a long term mentoring project with ASIES from Guatemala and Grupo Faro from Ecuador.]

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M&E systems: the importance of adopting a systems approach to implementing M&E systems

[Editor's note: This post is the second of a series of posts focused on the nitty-gritty of designing and implementing M&E systems by sharing on the ground learning and experience. This series is produced by Dena Lomofsky of Southern Hemisphere. The first post can be read here]

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How can organisations better implement Monitoring and Evaluation plans?

[Editor's note: This post is the first of a series of posts focused on the nitty-gritty of designing and implementing M&E systems by sharing on the ground learning and experience. This series is produced by Dena Lomofsky of Southern Hemisphere]

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Cry for help: monitoring, evaluating and learning in the South, how can we do it better?

By kat m research at flickr.com under CC license

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On Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning related to Capacity Building activities (II) – paradoxes and challenges

I have written here on what are the elements of an effective Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) system for capacity building (CB) activities. However, we live in a complex world, which is less boring (more stressing?) also because of its unpredictability. In this post, I would like to reflect on uncertainty by discussing some paradoxes and challenges that we might encounter when developing and implementing MEL for CB activities and suggest some ways of tackling them.

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On Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning of Capacity Building activities – methodologies

[Editor's note: This post was written by Antonio Capillo, M&E Officer at INASP].

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Politics & Ideas one year into the road: what have we achieved?

As we end up our first year of life, at P&I we are even more convinced about the value of co-producing knowledge that will allow us to think critically about the relations between ideas, research, and politics to support a more constructive use of research based evidence in policy making.

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Nine challenges towards think tanks evaluation in Latin America

[Editor's Note: This post was written by Natalia Aquilino, Director of the influence, Monitoring and Evaluation Programme at CIPPEC, with Leandro Echt’s collaboration.]

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Monitoring and evaluation -from our Topic Guide

The subject of monitoring and evaluation is central to any effort to attempt to improve the connections between policy and research (or politics and ideas). Funders, particularly those focused on funding research, are keen to know if and how the research they funded influenced policy.

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M&E: how can we enhance its perceived value?

Even when it is undeniable that more and more individuals and organizations are getting engaged in diverse types of M&E practices and systems, there is a long road to cover until this area and its members are regarded as true partners by other colleagues. In fact, many new M&E tools and systems are introduced as a response to external demand by donors who need to have a more detailed insight into how their contribution is used for better performance. Thus, I have seen dozens of team members hesitant or reluctant of this type of practices, interpreting them as an increase of their workload and a way to control what they do rather than an opportunity to learn and improve their work.

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