6. External relations

External Relations

Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PME) is an approach to performance review with all stakeholders from the same intervention (local citizens, policy makers, funding agencies and nongovernmental organisations). They work together to decide how to assess progress, conduct data collection and analysis, and take action on their findings.

  • Participatory monitoring is mainly concerned with short-term performance assessment of outputs and outcomes;
  • Participatory evaluation is primarily focused on longer term outcomes and impacts.

Both activities encourage mutual learning and knowledge production by stakeholders and adjustment of the design or operations of the intervention in light of what is learned (Encyclopedia of Evaluation. Participatory Monitoring And Evaluation).

If you first want to assess your organisation’s external relations or refresh your memory about the specific indicators per criteria click here.
An external relations strategy should consider the following aspects:
Relations with stakeholders
  • your organisations is perceived credible
  • your organisation is considered a relevant partner and resource
  • your organisation has good relations with the private sector for technical assistance, fundraising and human resources

Relations with other organisations

  • your organisation networks and shares its resources with other organisations locally, nationally and internationally
  • your organisation actively represents and promotes coalitions and networks
  • your organisation engages in national and global advocacy campaigns

Relations with government (local, regional, national)

  • your organisation has instruments to influence government policies in specific area of work
  • your organisation has contacts with influencers and decision-makers
  • your organisation can engage policy-makers in dialogue/consultation processes
  • your organisation’s’ outputs and recommendations are integrated into government plans and policy work

Relations with donors

  • your organisation is perceived as financially credible
  • your organisation is considered a relevant partner and resource
  • your organisation has built in practices/procedures for identifying and contacting donors as well as managing a donor network.
  • your organisation has a diverse funding base/network.

Relations with the wider public/community

  • your organisation engages with the community on various occasions.
  • your organisation’s mission and vision are understood correctly by the stakeholders.
  • your organisation provides relevant information about the activities that reach the surrounding community (i.e. newsletters, annual reports, etc.)
  • your organisation is seen in a positive light among the stakeholders

Relations with the media

  • the organisation has a strategy on working with the media.
  • the organisations has and maintains its relations with different media and communication outlets
  • the organisation constantly monitors the way it is portrayed in the media
  • the media consults your organisation on issues related to your work

Monitoring and evaluating with others

  1. Determine who and to what extent in/from/does your external environment support the development of evaluation capacity? (i.e International agencies and units promote and encourage innovation, professional networks/communities promote monitoring and evaluation, stakeholders might provide support for evaluation)External Relations
  2. Decide who participates in your project and form a multi-stakeholder platform to lead the process (a consortium, committee, task force, or working group), engage them in the entire project cycle and ensure their ownership of the process.
  3. Engage stakeholders in regular communication about the monitoring and evaluation progress with your target audience
  4. Send draft versions of the reports to the relevant stakeholders for review and comment
  5. Edit the report to include points of clarification or reaction statements.
  6. Present written and oral reports to donors and stakeholders.

Learning with others

  1. Clarify concepts of “participation” and  “participatory monitoring and evaluation” with your partners and stakeholders
  2. Identify appropriate methodologies that suit everyone’s’ needs and capabilities.
  3. Reflect together on past work, examine current realities, revisit your goals and objectives and define future plans by recognising the different needs and of your stakeholders and negotiate their interests.
  4. Develop a plan to build capacity for participatory monitoring and evaluation in your organisation. Such as:
    1. collaborating, joining and/or building networks and sharing knowledge and experiences with external partners
    2. participating in communities of practice
    3. identifying good practices from other organisations in the field
    4. use their work as a standard for comparison
  5. Scale up participatory monitoring and evaluation and promote institutional learning

Read more about…

  • An example of a plan to build capacity of participatory monitoring and evaluationUse of Results ( p.5)- USIP – 2012

Accounting to and with others

  1. The current good practice in the NGO field is on accountability based on performance. Thus, a greater emphasis placed on achieving results and objectives beyond the traditional reporting (narrative and financial) and auditing.
  2. The growing scarcity of funds leads to a demand for greater accountability and demonstrated impact or success based on social responsiveness and ethical responsibility.  
  3. The ongoing trend towards decentralisation and delegation of responsibilities and authority from central to lower levels of government is contributing to new forms of oversight to ensure transparency, ownership, empowerment and accountability towards the community.
  4. Organisations and youth movements are affirming their growing capacity and experience to act as decision makers and implementers in driving and sustaining change.

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