The wonderful world of evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation. Data collection. Program logics. Theory of change. What? Stop talking, you’re freaking me out, my brain is exploding. Yes, that used to be me. That, and there was this one time I was put into a room for a week and tortured by way of recovery program logic development. So, M&E was a trigger.

 The key word being was. It seems somewhere along the way I learned a thing or two. I went to a great workshop today for the implementation of the new(ish) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs*. There were a few points during the day where I said “that’s an outcome, not an output, right?”. AND THE ANSWER WAS YES!

I tell you this because, if I can do it, you can too.

We all want to do good work, that has positive and impactful outcomes for people affected by disasters. How else are we going to know if we are doing a good job? If our programs are doing what we think they are doing? Just, guess? Put a finger to the wind?

The good news is that there are people out there right now thinking about M&E and how to help us evaluate better. The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs will assist the recovery sector in Australia to do good design of recovery programs to assist evaluation and to be able to compare recovery programs across states and territories. In time, there will be a database** of completed evaluations on the AIDR Knowledge Hub that will help us see what worked well in one state, or how another state used evaluation findings to improve their work etc. All this, might I add, is happening nowhere else in the world! If that doesn’t excite you…well obviously you’re not excited by M&E and I understand.

Do what scares you recovery friends,

Further reading

*The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs is not yet finalised, though you can access Version 1 here. We will update this page with the final version when it is made available.

**The National Recovery Monitoring and Evaluation Database is coming soon, when it is live you will find it here.

The AIDR Knowledge Hub can be found here.

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