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5th Biennial SAMEA Conference 2015 on Using Evaluation to Improve People's Lives

Oct. 12, 2015 - Oct. 16, 2015

The organisers of the 5th Biennial SAMEA conference on Monitoring and Evaluation take pleasure in inviting you to partake in what will be the premier Monitoring & Evaluation event in South Africa for 2015. 

The theme for this year's conference is: '
Using Evaluation to Improve People's Lives'

The conference will address the following sub-thematic areas:

  • Evaluation use, accountability and public interest
  • Approaches, designs and methods for monitoring, evaluating and conveying developmental impact
  • Key issues facing international development evaluation

The sub-theme of 
evaluation use, accountability and public interest will explore how evaluations are used in South Africa, both by state and non-state actors, for public good. The conference will discuss what kind of evidence is considered when making evaluative judgments about the allocation of scarce resources and the costs/benefits of interventions, as well as consider the power dynamics that determine what becomes of evaluation conclusions and recommendations. The contested notions of accountability and public interest will prompt contributions that explore how monitoring data and evaluative evidence can be used and applied by a range of actors to advance their respective developmental goals. As a thematic area this seeks to engage civil society representatives, politicians, senior civil servants, NGO leadership, and representatives of international development organizations in who the use of monitoring and evaluation is ultimately dependent, beyond those core evaluation practitioners, academics and commissioners who make up our core community. This thematic area is inclusive of, but not limited to:

  • Advocacy using M&E
  • Creative and innovative applications of M&E
  • Parliamentary and legislative engagement with the evaluative function
  • Executive acknowledgement and action on evaluations
  • Evaluation and good governance
  • Understanding evaluation demand
  • Evidence and evidence-based decision-making
  • Citizen-based monitoring and social audits

Just like two years ago, Marlene Roefs and Anja Wolsky, from the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) are facilitate a two-day workshop. This year for an intermediate-advanced M&E audience on "M&E systems for use":

Workshop description

The workshop aims to assist participants in developing and implementing M&E systems that support utilisation of M&E findings and processes. It focuses on how to design and implement M&E systems of and for complex interventions and organisations (and not so much on specific approaches and methods that may be employed in M&E). The workshop is guided by the following questions: why is the M&E system being developed (intended use of M&E findings and processes); what is a M&E system; what contextual factors influence the design and implementation of the M&E system and how to address these; how to facilitate development of a shared results framework; how to develop and facilitate implementation of M&E plans; what influences sustained participation in and use of the M&E system?

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of key elements of an M&E system
  • Understanding of complexity in M&E systems for multi-layered and/or multi-stakeholder programmes, organisations and partnerships, and the implications thereof for determining the level of rigidity / flexibility and inclusiveness of the system
  • Insight in how (not) to address utilisation in design and operationalisation of an M&E system
  • Practical experience with design and operationalisation of elements of an M&E system


Key themes / subjects

  • M&E system development elements/phases (user requirements and context; approaches/principles; M&E focus; responsibilities, resources & capacity; implementation; review and adaptation)
  • System purposes (compliance/oversight, guidance, learning, empowerment, profiling)
  • M&E use(r) analysis (information and other needs, M&E stakeholders and stakes, power)
  • M&E context analysis (policies, planning and reporting cycles, M&E/performance information systems, resources & capacities, culture and readiness)
  • Facilitating the development of a results framework (Theory of Change, logframe, etc.)
  • Facilitating development of a monitoring plan and an evaluation plan
  • Do’s and don’ts in implementation of monitoring and evaluation plans
  • Facilitation of utilisation of the system (accounting, steering, learning, empowerment)
  • Facilitation of review of design and functioning of the M&E system

Target participants

  • Professionals responsible for developing and/or implementing M&E systems for programmes, organisations or partnerships
  • People who want to learn more about how to approach M&E from a user’s perspective, while being responsive to overarching M&E requirements or needs from donors, ministries/departments or boards
  • People interested in M&E of complex interventions, involving multiple stakeholders and/or innovation (where outcomes are difficult to predict)
  • People who like to share and reflect upon their own experiences together with other professionals

The workshop is meant for people who have a need for learning more about how to organise and support monitoring and evaluation of plans, programmes or partnerships. In particular, people who are engaged in (M&E of and for) multi-stakeholder and / or multi-layered interventions and organisations may be interested in participating. The target group typically includes accounting officers of a government Department or Municipality, chief executive officers of public entities, strategy managers, Corporate Social Responsibility managers, programme managers, M&E managers, and of last but not least people engaged in M&E system development and facilitation.

Training methodology

  • Interactive presentation
  • Discussion
  • Individual exercises
  • Group exercises