When I started as a Development Trainee (the very 1st batch of CARE Bangladesh), I met questions repeatedly, for instance, “Why have you chosen the M&E capacity?” “Did you choose willingly to work at M&E?” and I could discern the surprise and confusion in their faces which sometimes perplexed me too. Eventually, I came to learn there’s hardly someone who’s by choice an M&E professional instead it is by chance. Here are no undergraduate or postgraduate degrees specialized in the “Monitoring and Evaluation” offering in Bangladesh. Surprisingly, M&E experts like Ann-Murray Brown majored in Sociology, Psychology and International Development. Throughout her professional life, she has been ‘de-mystifying’ M&E, making complex concepts understandable to all. Likewise, the FFP M&E Advisor Arif Rashid who started his career as Program Coordinator now leading the whole M&E Team at USAID, brought substantial M&E policy improvement. In other words, many roads lead to Rome.
Keeping the nature of M&E in mind – whether we are Doing the Right Things – Strategy, whether we are Doing it Right – Operation, whether there are Better Ways of Doing it – Learning, you’ll be required to keep the tracks of your work and continuous comparisons between your desired and the actual outcome. Whether programs are achieving aims in line with community needs and desires, M&E is a robust accountability mechanism to scrutinize project efficiency, effectiveness and relevance.
In most of the book stores there exist a “self-help” section, but what we’re missing there a “help-others” section. I found the M&E team as the “help-others” window not for a single person (a fresher like me) as well as for SHOUHARDO III. The voice of the vulnerable can be heard and their lives can be transformed only when the studies with the findings are presented engagingly. This window will help you to answer questions similar to “Are you on right track to achieve your mission?”