SCS Kenya and SCS Botswana worked with Philanthropy University’s cutting-edge online capacity development platform to pilot a blended learning approach to the delivery of FHI 360’s Planning for Monitoring & Evaluation course created in 2018 with Philanthropy University. Both projects were ramping up grant agreements with local organizations and needed to train grantee teams on M&E essentials prior to the start of their activities.
Up to that point, all Philanthropy University courses (there are 17 currently covering topics ranging from strategic engagement to fundraising) had only been offered via the online platform. However, the SCS team and Philanthropy University realized the potential value of delivering the Planning for M&E course utilizing a mix of in-person facilitation and online self-guided review. The course includes five modules: Introduction to M&E; Linking M&E to Project Design; Identifying Indicators and Targets; Data Collection, and; Roles and Responsibilities.
On July 24-25, SCS Kenya delivered the Planning for Monitoring and Evaluation course to 29 individuals from 17 organizations. In addition to M&E staff, financial and other program staff from the grantee organizations also participated, because successful M&E requires buy-in and engagement from everyone. The material offered online was condensed and presented to participants in person by facilitators and was supplemented by periodic referral to online course videos and examples, along with time for self-reflection and group discussion and job-aid handouts. The Botswana cohort completed the course using a similar approach August 8-9 with 24 participants from 10 organizations.
“This is a unique course. We will definitely encourage our colleagues to all register for the course as we did so that they get these skills.” - Fredrick Okado, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI)
Combining immediate post-course survey results from Kenya and Botswana, the 53 participants from 27 CSOs valued the material and how it was delivered.
- 100% of survey respondents found the Planning for M&E course useful
- 100% of survey respondents felt the in-person facilitation was more impactful than if they had completed the course online only
- Regardless of their role (M&E, finance, program team), a comparison of pre/post course survey responses indicates that more than half of all participants found their M&E capacity improved as a result of their participation
The collaboration between Philanthropy University and SCS Global on these two blended learning Planning for M&E course pilots was truly mutually beneficial. The course provided a framework for ensuring all grantees thought about and clearly documented their project M&E plans prior to implementation. By completing the five-module course over the two-day training period with facilitators, the grantees left with rough drafts of M&E plans tailored to their projects. Delivering the course to grantees in person also allowed for rapid-feedback data collection on course quality, the perceived value of the blended-learning approach vs online-only, and suggested changes to materials and time estimated for the various modules and exercises.
Philanthropy University will use these data to strengthen the existing course and in designing new courses. Because SCS grantees in Kenya and Botswana will be supported for at least a year, we will periodically gauge the extent to which the topics covered are being used and what targeted support is needed to ensure high-quality data are collected – useful for both SCS and Philanthropy University. We will also assess the extent to which the CSOs improved their M&E capacity for their projects and organizations.
Philanthropy University is a nonprofit organization with a mission to deliver capacity-building resources to local civil society organizations (CSOs) to improve their performance. In furtherance of that mission, Philanthropy University has been developing a suite of technology products and services that can be accessed by CSOs globally, including a learning and course management system and online platform capable of delivering such capacity-building resources. FHI 360 has been working with Philanthropy University since 2016, particularly assisting with monitoring and evaluation (M&E) course development. Share the availability of Philanthropy University’s free online platform and courses at www.PhilanthropyU.org.