Put the data where your mouth is…

Posted in: Blog, by Bridge2Aid Team, on 10th October 2013 | 0 comments

By Rachel Purdy

Over the past few months we’ve been looking at how we can more effectively measure and communicate the impact and success of the Dental Training Programme.  In other words, the programme’s Monitoring and Evaluation process – the proof that we’re delivering what we promise to deliver.

Having talked to many different people recently, the mere mention of ‘M&E’ or Monitoring and Evaluation usually results in a yawn, a shiver, wrinkled foreheads and quite often, a somewhat glazed expression!

Monitoring and evaluation of any programme or project is more often than not sidelined or carried out as an afterthought, because it’s sadly seen as an inconvenience, a waste of time, resources and an arduous process of data collection, form-filling and number crunching. In reality however, M&E does not have to be an exhaustive process that is dreaded by programme staff and should in actual fact fit seamlessly into normal programme activities.

The importance of M&E information is key to all involved – audiences, programme staff, funders, partners, beneficiaries – everyone!

The last few months have been spent communicating the benefits of M&E and convincing people that it’s not as scary, boring or laborious as it first appears and it can actually be interesting and useful!

A structured M&E plan is vital as Bridge2Aid grows in programme numbers, locations, staffing and audiences.  The reality is that M&E activities are being carried out intuitively, so only a few additions and a process of formalising procedures needed to be done.

The lead up to this November’s Dental Training Programme has been a busy one, piloting a lot of the M&E activities and getting paperwork, the team and permissions in place. I’m excited at the prospect of being able to create an even more detailed picture of the work we’re doing, who’s benefitting and how…

The Dental Training Programme is creating a huge difference to the lives of those in desperate need and these details will do a huge amount in supporting Bridge2Aid and its future work.


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