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DG TIG Week: M&E: An Intervention Itself by Natalie Trisilla

Happy Wednesday! I’m Natalie Trisilla, Senior Evaluation Specialist at the International Republican Institute (IRI). IRI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to advancing democracy and democratic principles worldwide. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are critical to our work as these practices help us to continuously improve our projects, capture and communicate results and ensure that project decision-making is evidence-based.

In addition to advancing our programmatic interventions, M&E can serve as an intervention in and of itself.  Many monitoring and evaluation processes are key to helping political parties, government officials, civil society and other stakeholders promote and embody some of the key principles of democracy: transparency, accountability and responsiveness. Incorporating “evaluative thinking” into our programmatic activities has reinforced the utility and practicality of monitoring and evaluation with many of our local partners and our staff.

Hot Tips: There are number of interventions and activities in the toolbox of democracy, governance and human rights implementers, including election observations, policy analysis and development trainings and support for government oversight initiatives. M&E skills and concepts such as results-oriented project design, systematic data collection, objective data analysis and evidence-based decision-making complement and enhance these programmatic interventions—helping stakeholders to promote transparency, accountability and responsiveness.

Cool Tricks: Simply put, work with local partners on these projects to ensure their success and sustainability! Investing in M&E capacity will pay dividends. At IRI, we started with intensive one-off trainings for our field staff and partners.  We then pursued  a more targeted and intensive approach to M&E capacity-building through our “mentored evaluation” program, which uses peer-to-peer learning to build local M&E expertise within the democracy and governance sector in countries all over the world.

Check out this blog to learn how an alumna of our Monitoring and Evaluation Scholars program used the principles of monitoring and evaluation to analyze democratic development in Kenya.

Rad Resources: IRI’s M&E handbook was designed for practitioners of democracy and governance programs, with a particular focus on local stakeholders. We also have a Spanish version of the M&E handbook and we have an Arabic version coming soon!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Democracy & Governance TIG Week with our colleagues in the Democracy & Governance Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our DG TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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