M&E Thursday Talk: Putting the local first – Learning to adapt when measuring change – 07.21.16

On July 21st at 10:00am EST the M&E Thursday Talk series was hosted by Tom Gillhespy & Laura Thisted of Peace Direct who led a discussion on Putting the Local First: Learning to adapt when measuring change.

M&E Thursday Talk: Putting the local first – Learning to adapt when measuring change from DME for Peace on Vimeo.

(link is eTraditional monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches are under increasing scrutiny, as they are based on pre-defined indicators and commitments to programme objectives that are often unable to match the changing local context. They are also criticised because they tend to exclude local partners from the design and implementation of M&E procedures, ignoring a valuable source of knowledge and expertise that could be used to enhance programmes.

This report aims to show how the M&E reporting of local partners to donor organisations helps or hinders how programming can deal with changing contexts. The research, through interviews with local civil society organisations in Eastern DRC and the analysis of three case studies, assesses current M&E practices, explores possible solutions to the main areas of concerns and provides a set of recommendations in order to develop a more reflective and responsive approach.

As shown in this research, developing contextually appropriate indicators and tools that are more accessible to local actors is not enough. What is really needed is a systemic change to the way M&E is conceived and conducted: involving local actors in developing M&E procedures, encouraging shared learning across stakeholders, building closer relationships between donors and local partners, and generating an environment that can make sense of contextual changes and approve adaptations of programmes.

This M&E Thursday Talk was co-sponsored by Peace and Security Funders Group’s Locally-led Peacebuilding Working Group.

About the Speakers:

Laura Thisted

Laura works with partners to develop, implement and support methods for monitoring and evaluating the progress and impact of their projects. Before joining Peace Direct Laura worked as an M&E officer with Medair in the Ebola response in Sierra Leone. Laura has also conducted research into local peacebuilding, conflict and gender relations in Kenya, northern Uganda and Zambia and has an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies and an MA in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Glasgow. Contact: (link sends e-mail)

Tom Gillhespy

For the last 7 years Tom has worked for Peace Direct and currently is the Head of International Programmes. In that capacity he has worked closely with local organisations to develop their M&E capacity and has managed Peace Direct’s latest Local First research which looked at how M&E can help or hinder more flexible programming. Tom has an MA in Anthropology of Conflict and Violence Contact:

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