2018 Reflections: The M&E Community of Practice as a Learning Space

At the start of 2018 we shared a significant shift in the BRIDGE National Community of Practice for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). This was the partnership with the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), through which both organisations recognised the value of using the M&E CoP as a ‘learning space’ to achieve common aims in our work: to share information, resources and knowledge about M&E, and to build capacity around M&E in the education sector.

The CoP’s journey this year took us through perspectives on the what, when, how and who of monitoring and evaluation. We considered M&E from the point of view of building up internal organisational capacity as well as the art of commissioning useful evaluations for specific programmes. We looked at planning and designing and project evaluations as well as organisational evaluations, and the role of timing in implementing and reporting on these. A very important session was held on understanding the role and interpretation of data gathered through monitoring, and through data analysis: the many questions which emerged here will certainly need to be revisited going forward. In our last session of the year we considered the core competencies required by evaluators, as well as our own skills gaps in commissioning, carrying out, or interpreting evaluations. We also mapped out the journey taken, and checked in to see whether we had fulfilled our aims of balancing interactive sharing and problem solving with expert input.
We look forward to continuing the partnership in 2019!