This week Danielle and I dove into the exciting process of M&E!
M&E, or monitoring and evaluation, is one of the most important aspects of our job as project managers. The next couple of weeks will be filled with timed kilometers, push-up competitions, and interviews with parents, students, and teachers as we strive to evaluate the success of this year’s program as well as determine ways to improve for the future.
There are two components of our M&E process – quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative evaluation consists of a physical assessment of the girls. At the beginning and end of each school year, we have the girls participate in a standard physical fitness test. This test includes a timed kilometer, push-ups, sit-ups, a 50 m sprint, and a flexibility test. At first we were nervous that the girls would be reluctant to participate in a class consisting only of rigorous physical testing and none of our usual fun games. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastic our students were about the challenge! They were motivated to beat their running time or number of sit-ups from the beginning of the year, and were excited to have a tangible representation of their hard work in the class.
The qualitative component of M&E involves surveys and interviews with students, parents, and school representatives. The survey is administered only to students, and is used to assess how successfully we have conveyed the foundational lessons of the program, such as self-confidence and teamwork. We ask questions like whether they believe girls can play sports just as well as boys and whether they think they can go to university if they work hard enough. The interviews have a more open format, and give the opportunity for participants and stakeholders in the program to express their opinions. These conversations provide crucial feedback about what has worked well in the program and what should be changed for next year. It is also gives Danielle and me a chance to get to know members of the community better and gain a more substantial understanding of how our program fits into the community.
Our end of the year M&E has already gotten off to a great start, and we are looking forward to continuing in the coming weeks. For more information about the GSW M&E process, please check out the GSW Curriculum Toolkit.