Monitoring progress and evaluating one’s outputs and processes is key to constantly improving the performance of an organisation or project. In line with this, IDF Conducts bi annual monitoring of its grantees; from 16th June to 4th July 2014 IDF conducted the second monitoring and evaluation exercise of all her 19 Grantees that received grants under the fifth call for proposals (CFP 5) to mark the end of year one’s project implementation.. The purpose of the monitoring and evaluation exercise was to; validate the results reported by grantees, identify and assess progress towards project results & to offer on-site technical assistance.
The exercise that was conducted by IDF staff (Finance Officer, Documentation & Learning Officer, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer,Program Support Officer, Human rights and good governance, Program Support Officer-Finance, Driver) and a consultant involved desk review of grantee work plans, reports and accountabilities, discussions with the project officers and field visits – on-site monitoring of projects in the Grantee project areas. During the on-site field monitoring exercise, IDF staff met and shared with the projects’ beneficiaries, community members, project focal persons, partners and stakeholders involved/contributing to the different projects. Several findings came up from this exercise, these included;
Issues arising and constraints noted.
- In terms of implementation progress, monitoring indicated that around 95% of the grantees were on track with the project work plans, while progress towards committed outcomes was slightly above 65%.
- Sharing of project information by grantees is still limited to IDF through progress reports and to some extent the District officials through meetings. – Grantees were advised to try and analyse the information gained through monitoring and later use this to inform their advocacy actions as this is valuable in keeping the project focused on its purpose
- Challenges still exist particularly in identifying Qualitative results. From the discussions with project actors and communities it was noted that quite a number of project interventions are contributing to change, however this is not well documented. Reasons for this include, some of the indicators developed are not able to demonstrate changes occurring
- Transfer of and expiry of term limits of key project stakeholders like the BMUs, SMCs, HUMCs, and civil servants that had already been oriented and brought on board creates setbacks some projects and limits progress since the grantee has to create fresh rapport with the new teams and also orient/train them on the project.
Lessons Learned/New or emerging opportunities:
- Use of existing structures like the VHTs, BMUs, SMCs, and the local leaders makes implementation easier, more effective and ensures sustainability of the project.
- Project stakeholders; (locally elected and appointed leaders including technical staff at the districts and sub county and community resource/focal persons) are aware and conversant with the work of Grantees which testifies to the presence of the Grantees in the project areas. The stakeholders are quick to acknowledge and point out the contribution that IDF funded interventions have led to within the community e.g. increased awareness in Human rights issues and the justice system, increased community vigilance on reporting human rights violation cases and increased responsiveness of local leaders on addressing reported human rights cases. This kind of working environment allows for collaboration and realization of project results.
- Routine monitoring both at IDF and field levels coupled with technical support extended to Grantees is valuable as it informs IDF on the progress of the project, performance of the Grantee and also, allows for on spot capacity building of the Grantees in the areas of need. This practice also motivates and instills confidence in the other project stakeholders.
- Orientation and refresher support to project staff on key areas such as documentation/reporting, M&E, accounting and finance will continue to be prioritized to enhance Grantee capacities to deliver as expected.
- Project focal persons (paralegals, VHTs, Peer Educators, Community Based Monitors, Human Rights Activists etc) should continuously be , supported and empowered to deliver better; this will foster project sustainability as they are embedded within the community
Among the key accomplishments from the onsite field monitoring exercise were; s It offered IDF staff an opportunity to validate the accuracy of the information that the grantees had reported to IDF in the 3rd and 4th quarter i.e implemented activities versus results. In addition to this, it offered Grantees an opportunity for onsite guidance and capacity building in the areas of reporting using the IDF formats/templates, simple data analysis based on project generated data and documentation of project results.
Conclusively this exercise helped in providing consolidated information showcasing project progress. It also revealed a few hiccups that still exist and offered paths for learning and improvements.