Hello, we are Greg Lestikow, CEO and Fatima Frank, Project Manager of evalû, a small consulting firm that focuses exclusively on rigorous evaluations of social and economic development initiatives. We champion impact evaluation that maintains academic rigor but is based entirely on our clients’ need to improve strategic and operational effectiveness and increase profitability.
We spend much of our time in the field, yet we often find that we have less time on the ground than we’d like. We have a lot to do and a lot of information to transfer to our clients’ field teams. Just as importantly, we are trying to build local buy-in to ensure a successful evaluation once we leave the country. As such, we have developed and refined three basic workshops to involve key local staff early on in the evaluation process.
- In the first week, cover the basics of evaluation. Given the diversity of field staff and skill sets evaluators work with, it’s important to lay out the basic groundwork of M&E so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the purpose of the evaluation. Our first presentation, titled “Measuring Impact,” covers:
- Distinguishing between monitoring and evaluation
- Discussing the importance of rigorous evaluation and the project evaluation process
- Introducing methodologies for rigorous evaluation techniques
- Drawing links between program design and program evaluation
- Understanding how we measure change at the individual and community level
- Second, (generally during the same week), give an in-depth presentation on evaluation indicators. This would be an ideal time to present an Indicator Framework if you have one (see our three-part series on our evalû-created indicators system) or give a general presentation on indicators (what makes a good indicator, SMART indicators, etc). This presentation should provide practical training with participatory activities to engage the field teams and ensure that they understand the nuances and organization of indicators and requirements. This training helps M&E and program staff think about their projects and what indicators they want to use for the evaluation.
- The last presentation should occur in the week or two before start of data collection. This presentation consists of specific training for survey enumerators and qualitative data collection workers. We combine the training for surveys and qualitative data collection so that workers in both areas understand how the instruments support one another. We’ve also found that this cross-training allows data collectors to take on different responsibilities if needed. You never know when one of your enumerators will call in sick!
If you have other helpful evaluation training resources, please feel free to post them here or contact us directly.
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