Monitoring and evaluation is increasingly becoming a donor requirement, with many NPOs investing in measuring the impact of their development work. Yet is this increased activity actually feeding back into projects to improve them? This question was debated in a breakaway session at Trialogue’s CSI Conference 2015.
Read more: Are organisations learning from their M&E?
Held in Johannesburg at Tsogo Sun (9 February 2016) and Cape Town at Sanlam (11 February 2016)
Effective monitoring and evaluation is imperative for decision-making, improved project implementation and determining the results of CSI projects and programmes. Social Return on Investment (SROI) – a fairly new concept in South Africa – is but one approach to monitoring and evaluation. It focusses on developing an understanding about whether a company’s CSI project or programme is creating value, and how that value can be quantified. While not a precise science, the monetisation of the value created by a CSI project or programme can be used to effectively communicate the project’s ‘return’ and to motivate for the maintenance or expansion of that project or programme.
Read more: CSI Forum: Social Return on Investment
For most development practitioners, the term ‘monitoring and evaluation’ (M&E) doesn’t require an extensive introduction. The importance of organisational measurement cannot be overstated in the world of CSI, in which millions of rands are spent annually on social development programmes that yield little systemic change or sustained impact. Drawing from her extensive experience, Jennifer Bisgard, co-founder of M&E consultancy Khulisa Management Services, writes about why M&E needs more rigorous design and consistent implementation.
Read more: Demystifying monitoring and evaluation
It is crucial for non-profit organisations and corporates alike to be able to prove the impact that their social development initiatives are having, in order to secure ongoing and possibly increased financial support. A panel discussion on monitoring and evaluation (M&E), convened on 24 May 2016 at The Trialogue CSI Conference, brought together corporate, non-profit, foundation and academic perspectives, to explore how M&E can be better incorporated into programme-planning and support. Panellists agreed that monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has become an essential component of CSI work. Of course, funders want to know what impact their money is having, but the question of why practitioners need to monitor and evaluate their projects and organisations, and what they get out of it, is a more complex one.
Read more: Sound monitoring and evaluation builds a strong organisation