The Covid-19 pandemic amplified and continues to highlight the fault-lines in our social welfare systems, our healthcare capabilities, our ability to respond to crises, and the role of individuals and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The need for individual and organisational skills to interrogate, reflect, monitor, capture, share, and report on conditions and the impact of government policy decisions has become more apparent because of the consequences of lockdowns, school closures, and continued measures to curtail and contain the health threat.
The lockdown regulations severely hampered people’s movement, created threats to livelihoods, amplified inequalities, multiplied the number of unemployed, and exacerbated chronic health and social welfare conditions. The ongoing threat of Covid-19 effects on the health of individuals still looms.
This article showcases the opportunity provided by Southern Hemisphere, a leading socio-development agency, to build on and develop the monitoring and evaluation skills (M&E) needed before, during and after Covid-19. This offering is presented with due recognition of the strategic responses of individuals, organisations and government institutions across Africa during the height of the current crisis.
Southern Hemisphere, as a strategic partner, is very much aware of the role of Voluntary Organisations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) such as the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), and the role and demands placed on these formations to harness the collective wisdom that is inherent in M&E frameworks and systems.
SAMEA, like other VOPEs in Africa, was somewhat hamstrung by the restrictions of movement and limitations on contact, as were most institutions. VOPEs in Africa were expected to promote M&E as a vehicle to generate knowledge for use in interventions responding to the pandemic and in so doing, remain focused and relevant. However, as collectives, VOPEs struggled to adapt to new modes of engagement and were slow and limited in many cases.
They could not promote evidence (credible or not) to be used in fast-track decision-making processes. They were, however, instrumental as communications platforms to enable evaluation professionals to respond to calls for assistance. Individual VOPE members were instrumental in championing social programmes geared to aid the more vulnerable members of society.
Many of them used their skills, networks and abilities in creative ways to fill the huge gaps caused by regulations implemented by governments across the African continent. It is anticipated that the lessons learned from the current and ongoing crisis will be taken up by more organised structures and will help VOPEs to develop readily available tools and techniques to be used during crisis scenarios.
VOPEs are CSOs or groups created around a body of knowledge concerning relevant theories, methodologies, or policy instruments. They also provide relevant ways of acquiring knowledge of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) and participants have an interest in maintaining the integrity of their body of knowledge.
As professional associations, VOPEs have significant contributions to making countries engender good governance. Good governance relies on the input and contributions of individuals — the same individuals who maximised the social, economic, psychological, physical, and technological opportunities that were challenges initially.
Dena Lomofsky says: “At Southern Hemisphere, we firmly believe in the impact that MEL can have on individuals, organisations and societies alike. That’s why we have developed the MEL Bootcamp!
“From the curious novice to the more seasoned monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) practitioner, our Bootcamp has a wide range of modules suited to your needs and level.
This course is for monitoring, evaluation, and learning practitioners: people who want to enter the field, or programme managers, communications officers and fundraisers.
“It is targeted at people working in international development, government, or local non-governmental organisations or charities.”
How will this help you?
- Practical and easy to implement tips and skills that will strengthen the impact of your projects
- Help you collect the most useful and insightful data, and learn from it
- Help you with the essential collation and reporting of project data for stakeholders, funders, and beneficiaries
- Improve your career prospects with tangible skills and respected certification credentials
- The virtual training allows you the flexibility to learn from an environment that works best for you with the benefit of engaging content, practical solutions and is engineered for active participation.
Southern Hemisphere’s Bootcamp offers a modular learning approach that allows you to create your own learning journey and experience, bespoke to your needs.
The trainers have over 150 collective years of training experience and have trained over 2 000 people in 23 different countries.
Why train with us? The Southern Hemisphere difference:
● Choose from a selection of eight full-day intensive modules; select those best suited to you
● Peer learning clinics
● Actionable and practical tips that you can apply to your projects
● Networking and connection opportunities
● Flexible pricing and discounted rates for multiple modules and team bookings
● A recording of the session, a resource pack with the presentation slides, tools, and useful resource materials for further self-study
● A certificate will be provided post the session.
There are limited seats available. Bookings close on 20 May 2022.
— Mark Abrahams, Senior Consultant and Dena Lomofsky, Managing Member and Senior Consultant at Southern Hemisphere