Course Details - Evaluating and Managing for Sustainable Development Impact

In this course, we focus on effective M&E capacities and functions that activate the ability of your initiative/organisation to be responsive and proactive. Rather than being a mere add-on, M&E then becomes pivotal in navigating evolving processes and changing contexts in which many development initiatives operate.

What this course is about

The development landscape has changed significantly over the last few decades, becoming increasingly complex. Many of the issues we face today, such as climate change, poverty and conflict, call for a new way of doing business, so as to collaboratively contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Managing for Sustainable Development Impact (M4SDI) approach has evolved to support leaders and development practitioners how to navigate this complexity and manage their initiative/organisation successfully towards sustainable development impact. The M4SDI approach is an integrated, results oriented management approach, which can be used across a range of sectors and domains in a variety of contexts. It addresses some of the most pressing concerns, such as engaging primary stakeholders, designing effective strategies and related monitoring and evaluation (M&E), focusing on capacity development, and responding to change in a complex context.

Being responsive and proactive

Whether you work in agriculture, health, social change processes, natural resource management, value chain development or sectors, initiatives need to connect appropriately to context specifics. This relates to variables such as stakeholder interests and relationships, relevant policies and legislation, socio-economic and socio-political conditions, environmental conditions such as climate change, and more. Because of the changing nature of that context, management needs to be responsive and proactive. This enhances your (organisation’s) readiness to navigate the challenges that will come your way.

Effective M&E capacities and functions activate the ability to be responsive and proactive. Rather than being a mere add-on, M&E then becomes pivotal in navigating evolving processes and changing contexts in which many development initiatives operate.

What is the M4SDI approach?

The M4SDI approach consists of core processes, underpinned by key orientations that determine the nature and scope of these processes, and supported by communication and capacities and conditions to implement these core processes. The core processes include strategic guidance, effective operations and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Key features of M4SDI include its people centred approach and how it seeks to integrate planning, monitoring and evaluation processes. The M4SDI approach builds on theoretical insights and experience gained nearly 20 years, with feedback from colleagues, partners and over 800 practitioners trained in the approach.

Connecting learning to home realities

Being highly interactive, the course links the theory and concepts to the experience and expertise of participants. A selection of case studies from participants will be used as material for practice. Active discussions, group assignments, role plays as well as networking are part of the interactive mode of facilitation. You will receive individual coaching by peers and course facilitators in translating and adapting course content to an approach that is appropriate and feasible for application back home.

This course is more than a M&E course. It focuses on M&E in the context of and at the service of core management processes. We welcome participants who are interested in making that connection work for sustainable development impact, whether they are from government offices, (I)NGOs, knowledge institutes, private sector, or consultancy firms.

Four interlinked fields of study

This course first of all strengthens your competency to manage for impact in your own individual sphere of work. Secondly, it helps you play a more effective role in helping your organisation manage for sustainable development impact. The course programme will address four interlinked fields of study:

1.    First things first

You will learn principles and practice of strategic thinking, foresight, change management, interactive processes, the learning organisation and conflict management. This builds up a strategic attitude that needs to underpin the other areas of learning. You will also find out what is on international agendas concerning M&E to position your work in a relevant (development) policy context.

2.    Knowing what you need to know

You will learn what is involved in developing a proper understanding about a situation in which we want to make a difference. This relates to situation analysis, visioning and developing change scenarios.

3.    Understanding what it takes to make a difference

We focus on translating context understanding and strategic foresight to strategic design and effective operations. You will learn about new methods such as articulating theories of change/action and how to work with commonly used tools such as the logical framework;

4.    Are we doing the right things and are we doing things right?

Learn how to develop appropriate M&E plans based on clear information needs (and indicators), intended users of M&E information and how to activate M&E towards effectively informing management decision making. This includes the need to give account of efforts and investments to key stakeholders. You will also explore practical implications such as needed capacities and conditions for M&E in particular, and for managing for sustainable development impact in general.

Courses are currently online

This course will be organised online. This includes off-line and online activities, including: regular online face-to-face interactions (for input and facilitated discussions), individual assignments (such as tests, reading assignments et cetera), group work (particularly on participants’ cases), games, etc. You will be exposed to a wide range of online tools and methods that stimulate creativity and learning. We look forward to engaging with you online!

Online platforms: Zoom and TalentLMS

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send an e-mail about your situation.

We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.

Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments, background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organise a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.

Course planning and certificates

The course workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).

The exact programme of your course will be available 2-3 weeks before the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.

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