For projects

Improve your practice at projects level

Improve your practice at the project level

This section is a step-by-step guide to help you improve how you monitor and evaluate projects and learn from them. It is based on  quality criteria and it is organised in five sub-sections. As stated in the definition, evaluation starts with the very same conception of the project, from the planning phase to the conclusion.   

 

This part is structured in the following sections:

 

  1. Relevance and innovation

  2. Planning and design

  3. Monitoring

  4. Final evaluation

  5. Reporting and accountability

If you first want to assess your practices go to Assess your projects.

A note about quality and MEL at project level

ProjectsMost of youth and peace work is project based. This means that activities are organised and carried out to reach a specific aim. This requires careful planning and preparation involving specific skills. Most learning in youth peace organisations happens in the context of projects.  However, evaluation is often understood in a limited way, as a general reflection of how the project went. Often, evaluation and learning are not seen as priorities, emphasis is rather put on the actions and practical logistical aspects. Yet, evaluation and learning are crucial for making quality projects and thus contributing to reach the organisational mission and vision.

But what does quality mean? And what is the role of monitoring, evaluation and learning in ensuring quality? Quality depends on what we define, or in other words, what we consider “good” and “valuable”. This depends on the overall organisational context, the practice in the fields of youth work and peacebuilding and ultimately on personal and organisational preferences. Evaluation is in itself an exercise to define and ensure quality. It is deeply rooted in values and traditions of practice.

A quality project is defined in the context of these guidelines as a project that is:

  • Ethical – it makes explicit shared and agreed principles which should guide all actions of the project, for example, respect for diversity.
  • Relevant and meaningful for the group or community with whom the organisation works.
  • Innovative – based on past experiences, but drawing on creative methods and tools and developing new ones.
  • Effective – manages to reach its proposed goals with the most appropriate methods and tools.
  • Efficient – makes the best use of available resources.