Training for social change and essential development skills for the future

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The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified and continues to highlight the flaws in our social protection systems, our healthcare capacities, our ability to respond to crises and the role of individuals and civil society organizations (CSOs ). The need for individual and organizational skills to question, reflect, monitor, capture, share and report on the conditions and impact of government policy decisions has become more evident due to the consequences of lockdowns, school closures and ongoing measures to reduce and contain the health threat.

Lockdown regulations have severely impeded the movement of people, created threats to livelihoods, amplified inequalities, multiplied the number of unemployed and exacerbated chronic health and social protection conditions. The lingering threat of the effects of Covid-19 on the health of individuals still looms.

This article presents the opportunity offered by Southern Hemisphere, a leading social development agency, to build on and develop the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) skills needed before, during and after Covid-19. This offer is presented with due regard to the strategic responses of individuals, organizations and government institutions across Africa at the height of the current crisis.

The Southern Hemisphere, as a strategic partner, is keenly aware of the role of Voluntary Professional Evaluation Organizations (VOPEs) such as the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), as well as the role and requirements placed on these trainings to harness the collective wisdom inherent in M&E frameworks and systems.

SAMEA, like other VOPEs in Africa, was somewhat crippled by movement restrictions and contact limitations, as were most institutions. VOPEs in Africa were to promote M&E as a vehicle to generate knowledge for use in pandemic response interventions and, in doing so, remain focused and relevant. However, as collectives, VOPEs have struggled to adapt to new modes of engagement and have been slow and limited in many cases.

They could not promote evidence (credible or not) to be used in expedited decision-making processes. They have, however, been instrumental as communication platforms for evaluation professionals to respond to calls for help. Individual VOPE members have been instrumental in promoting social programs to help the most vulnerable members of society.

Many of them have used their skills, networks and capacities in creative ways to fill the huge gaps caused by the regulations implemented by governments across the African continent. It is expected that lessons learned from the current and ongoing crisis will be taken up by more organized structures and will help VOPEs develop readily available tools and techniques to use during crisis scenarios.

VOPEs are CSOs or groups created around a body of knowledge regarding relevant policy theories, methodologies or instruments. They also provide relevant means of acquiring knowledge about monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and participants have an interest in maintaining the integrity of their body of knowledge.

As professional associations, VOPEs contribute significantly to ensuring that countries engender good governance. Good governance relies on the contribution and contributions of individuals – the same individuals who maximized the social, economic, psychological, physical and technological opportunities that were initially challenges.

Dena Lomofsky says, “At Southern Hemisphere, we strongly believe in the impact MEL can have on individuals, organizations and societies. That’s why we developed the MEL Bootcamp!

“From the curious novice to the more experienced Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) practitioner, our Bootcamp offers a wide range of modules to suit your needs and level.

This course is aimed at practitioners of monitoring, evaluation and learning: people who want to enter the field, or program managers, communication officers and fundraisers.

“It is aimed at people working in international development, government, or local non-governmental or charitable organizations.”

How will this help you?

  • Practical, easy-to-implement tips and skills that will boost the impact of your projects
  • Help you collect the most useful and relevant data, and learn from it
  • Assist you in essential project data collection and reporting for stakeholders, funders and beneficiaries
  • Enhance your career prospects with tangible skills and respected certification credentials
  • Virtual training gives you the flexibility to learn in an environment that works best for you with the benefit of engaging content, practical solutions and is designed for active participation.

The Southern Hemisphere Bootcamp offers a modular learning approach that allows you to create your own learning path and experience, tailored to your needs.

The trainers have over 150 years of training experience and have trained over 2,000 people in 23 different countries.

Why train with us? The southern hemisphere difference:

● Choose from a selection of eight intensive full-day modules; select the ones that suit you best

● Peer learning clinics

● Practical and actionable tips you can apply to your projects
● Networking and connection opportunities

● Flexible pricing and discounted rates for multiple modules and team bookings

● A recording of the session, a resource folder with the presentation slides, tools and useful resource materials for further self-study

● A certificate will be provided after the session.

There are limited places available. Closing of reservations on May 20, 2022.
Visit: https://www.southernhemisphere.co.za/training/monitoring-evaluation-and-learning-mel-bootcamp/

— Mark Abrahams, Principal Consultant and Dena Lomofsky, Managing member and senior consultant in the southern hemisphere

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