• Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST), Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad
  • (+92) 51-2278134, (+92) 51-2278135
  • Taimur Chambers Plot # 10-D (WEST), Fazal-ul-Haq Rd, Islamabad
  • (+92) 51-2278134, (+92) 51-2278135

Centre for Capacity Building

  • IDRC MEAL Introduction

IDRC MEAL Introduction

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning (MEAL)

As such M&E has been adopted as an essential function of development work, including research, outreach, policy engagement and community-level interventions. MEAL is a further development on the principles of M&E. MEAL is an approach whereby not only are programmes monitored and evaluated against targets, but the findings of these activities are explicitly fed back into programme decision-making and shared with relevant stakeholders; thus incorporating accountability and learning in to institutional processes. It is important to also reform organisational structures and procedures in a manner that uptake of learning from M&E becomes easier and effective. Through this training we will introduce ways in which principles of MEAL can be adopted by TTs for improvement of their own work and its outcomes. SDPI has already approached MEAL lead resource persons in OXFAM GB and ODI as lead trainers. Their inputs are particularly important for cross-cutting themes in our MEAL syllabus, including policy, gender and environment.

Key features of hands-on training will also include, integrating policy and gender-responsive M&E into programme work, supporting theory of change and logical framework analysis through MEAL, and project reporting and tracking through MEAL. OXFAM GB has recent expertise in application of MEAL to gender justice and women's empowerment programme. This case study will be explored in detail. MEAL through a gender lens can strengthen the attention provided to gender (and other key areas under sustainable development) in overall research value chain.

Our lead resource persons will have the flexibility to amend the syllabus, once they receive the needs assessment report, which will be completed by SDPI. This instrument will be circulated to 14 TTIs who will respond to particular expectations from MEAL training. It is important that MEAL concepts and practices under this training respond to the needs of diverse senior management, programme and thematic teams. The sequencing of modules will also be important keeping in view varying prior knowledge of course participants.

To ensure value for money, our training material and online pre- and post-training content will be designed for independent learning. This implies that even without prior knowledge and experience in M&E, this training activity will try to develop an understanding of practical skills up to a level after which taught concepts can be practiced and refined by the trainees themselves as part of their work.

For facilitating greater retention, our proposed sessions will vary in length and take between one and two hours. The shorter sessions can then be managed in few quick sittings allowing longer sessions (e.g. hands-on activity and simulation exercises) to include recommended breaks.

In the case of sessions such as gender-responsive M&E it will be important to incorporate breakout sessions and group work. For such sessions SDPI will invite resource persons (for carefully moderating the activities) from within the TTIs. We are in touch with SPDC Pakistan for this role and will also seek the possibility of involving CEPA Sri Lanka.

The overall course will be spread over 8 hours of pre-training on-line engagement, 30 working hours at training venue, and 7 hours of post-training on-line engagement. For our on-site training, we will be inviting a mix of keynote speakers from TTI and non-TTI institutions. We are in touch with Debapriya Bhattacharya, CPD Bangladesh, and Shekhar Shah, NCAER India for this role. From non-TTI institutions we aim to request Nancy Birdsall, Former and Founding President of Center for Global Development, based in Washington DC. Another possible choice is Daniel F. Runde, William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, at Center for Strategic & International Studies, based in Washington DC. In the interest of budget, we may request keynote engagements over video conferencing.

We are also aiming to engage with potential stakeholders in MEAL from parliament, civil service and private sector segments. They will be expected to highlight their own view of how uptake of work undertaken by TTs can be enhanced. Additionally they will guide how better policy engagement tools can be implemented in order to make these stakeholders partners in the MEAL process. The names in this panel tentatively include, Rajiva Wijesinha, Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka; Salman Khurshid, Former Foreign Minister, India; Rajan Bhattarai, Member of Constituent Assembly and Parliament, Nepal; Hafiz A. Pasha, Former Finance Minister, Pakistan. From the business community, current President of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industries will be invited. SAARC Chamber has already signed a formal memorandum of understanding with SDPI for collaborative research and advocacy.

Our programme will have MEAL exercises and on-site feedback by our lead trainers. Project work and simulations will be conducted both at individual and group work levels. This work will be carefully evaluated and feedback provided to each participant. Our lead trainers will introduce the post-training on-line work which our participants will be expected to complete.

After discussions with potential resource persons, following is an indicative distribution of key themes that will be part of the training.