CSI Resources

monitoring evaluationMonitoring and evaluation is increasingly becoming more common as a donor requirement, with greater investment to tangibly measure the impact of their development programmes and initiatives. For many of these non-profit organisations and corporates alike, M&E is an essential tool to bring in funding in order to continue these initiatives. Although it is important for organisations to measure their societal impact, how effective can these measurements be towards the improvement of future development programmes? Monitoring and evaluation must be an honest conversation between corporates and their stakeholders to study the successes and the challenges to be improved upon in future societal development programmes.

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

Ethics is more prominent in King IV than in King III. King IV consists of 16 principles, the first three of which are specifically focused on ethics: Ethical leadership (The governing body should lead ethically and effectively), Ethical culture (The governing body should govern the ethics of the organisation in a way that supports the establishment of an ethical culture), and Corporate Citizenship (the governing body should ensure that the organisation is, and is seen to be, a responsible corporate citizen (the ethical responsibilities of organisations).

In practice, having a basis for making these disclosures would appear to imply that the company/its board will need to set measurable objectives and indicators for organisational ethics and responsible corporate citizenship, and to monitor those indicators to understand progress being made against the objectives (King IV is not prescriptive in this respect).


Read more: EY Trialogue Sustainability Forum: Is ethical conduct becoming embedded in company culture, or is...

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