Our experience of monitoring and evaluation
We have had the privilege of being assessed by a Monitoring and Evaluation Team (M & E Team) from the Department of Social Development Western Cape since 2007. This report of our work, by an independent body, provides a useful tool for our Annual Report to the public. The Team’s objectives are to assess the functioning of the organisations whom they fund, identify areas for growth, affirm strengths and make recommendations for improvement which must be attended to by a certain date.
To do this, a team of four professionals spend four full days at Ons Plek. Interviews are held with the Board, with almost all members of staff individually and jointly and with the girls. The team are thorough in their questions. They repeat the same questions to different role players to make sure that the information they gain is accurate. Policies and procedures of all aspects of Ons Plek’s functioning must be produced. The Petty Cash and Bookkeeping systems are examined in detail.
Some lasting impressions of their visit are: The four M & E Team members sitting in various rooms, surrounded by piles of files, Pam and Yumna running up and down the stairs fetching files, policies etc. Staff moving out of their office to make space and huddling in a corner to do their own work, Childcare Workers sitting with the team in between rushing to school to fetch young children or doing hospital visits and Sharon and Odette sitting with mountains of papers to re-file at the end of the visit.
I want to commend the team for their professional and skilful implementation of their task. They are very sensitive to the fact that this important task can be disrupting to the project and do what they can to assist with this. Their role is a difficult one because their purpose is to identify any weaknesses for the greater good of the clients or beneficiaries without eliciting a defensive response.
Despite the intensity of the assessment, there was not much time for discussion on the feedback of their impressions, which they gave verbally to the Board, and some misunder-standing inevitably will arise. Grasping all the nuances of a project in four days is not completely possible. The opportunity is given, therefore, to respond to their report in writing.
Their reports (presented below) together with the responses from Ons Plek, hopefully provides a window into some of Ons Plek’s workings.
M & E Report 2007-Annual General Report-External evaluation report on our work – read about it in the Annual Report of that year AGM_Report_2007_FINAL