Doing Monitoring and Evaluations in war affected countries
This is a blog post I wrote for War Child UK’s Supporter Newsletter in April 2017. I am posting this here as you may find some useful information for your projects and programmes.
I spend 3 months a year travelling all over the world to work directly with our teams. War Child’s work focuses on psychosocial support to children, helping them overcome the traumas that living through war can develop. This creates the need for unique monitoring and evaluating, which is not always straightforward. I gather data and train all War Child’s Monitoring and Evaluation officers to appropriately measure the impact of our programmes.
Feedback from the children themselves is the most valuable aspect to measuring the impact of our work. We train children so they can conduct research themselves, on their perceived level of safety in their households, schools and communities. These children then survey their friends, who use the child-friendly rating scale to express their views on safety.
Using this research, they can advocate for change on behalf of their peers to state duty bearers and community leaders.
War Child takes accountability very seriously. We gather feedback from our partner organisations and the children we work with, which ensures that our programmes are informed and fit the needs of the children. We then use this feedback to develop and improve future programmes.
I used to be a quantitative evaluator, focusing on numbers and statistics. War Child has taught me to go beyond the numbers and targets, to focus on impact and quality – the real difference we make to children’s lives. In addition to being a passionate employee, I am also a passionate fundraiser for War Child, taking part in the Amsterdam Marathon, jumping off cliffs into ice cold water, solving puzzles, and trekking for a full 24 hours in the Peak District. I am yet to finalise my fundraising activity for 2017, so am open to ideas!