Improving Monitoring for Greater Impact

An executive briefing for those making key decisions based on evidence generated by monitoring systems.

This half-day session is for senior decision-makers who want to improve their organisation’s performance in order to create a greater impact on communities, whether for social, economic or environmental benefits.

The briefing focuses on monitoring performance rather than evaluation. You will be able to identify specific areas in which to improve your current monitoring systems, and learn to introduce changes that will have the greatest impact.

About the briefing

The purpose of monitoring systems is not just to measure and report but to improve how your organisation performs so that it is best placed to create change and make an impact.

Monitoring is not a technical area of expertise. It is an integral management function that serves the information needs of those making decisions on the direction of the organisation and the allocation of resources.

But, to make the right decisions, you have to ask the ‘experts’ the right questions. Monitoring is a series of questions, answers, and lessons learned around an organisation’s financial and non-financial performance. The process should bring teams and individuals together. Each has their own part to play and story to tell.  It is also important to balance the need to be accountable to those your organisation supports as well as to its funders.

Once you have defined your own information needs  these will define the parameters  and design features of your monitoring system:

  • The questions you need answered so you can manage decision uncertainties.
  • How best to provide answers.
  • Who generates the information.
  • The look, type and frequency of the system’s outputs (reports and studies).
  • How best to communicate these outputs within the organisation, to its governing body and among those it supports – its intended beneficiaries.

Effective monitoring provides an opportunity for listening to those supported by the organisation. Their subjective opinions and their responses to the support from your organisation represent the primary basis for organisational learning. The significance of this, and exploring ways to help promote such listening and to communicate the lessons learned, will be a key feature of this briefing session.

Topics covered

  • Linking questions about performance to plans.
  • Activity based costing, financial performance.
  • Integrating financial and non-financial performance.
  • Learning from being accountable to the people your organisation supports.
  • Listening to beneficiary aspirations, perceptions and responses.
  • Clarifying responsibilities and defining who has what part to play in the monitoring process.
  • Informal and formal story telling approaches and formats.

What you will learn

By the end of the session, you will be better able to:

  • Understand and interpret the four questions a monitoring system should answer.
  • Explain the links between these questions and theories of change and strategic or business plans.
  • Review the adequacy of current monitoring systems.
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of teams and individuals associated with different aspects of monitoring.
  • Develop and try out opportunities for those directly supporting beneficiaries to learn from each other on how to overcome challenges.
  • Identify and design ways to gauge the reactions and responses among those your organisation supports.
  • Demonstrate how to integrate financial and non-financial aspects of the organisation’s performance into work plans and outputs (e.g. performance reports) from your monitoring system.

Who it is for

This briefing is for CEOs, fundraising directors, heads of finance or HR, directors of programmes and all senior decision-makers within charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises, local government as well as leaders of organisations within the public and private sector.

This is usually run as a one-to-one session or for a group or team, usually at our offices in London.  However we are currently running an open session for a maximum of three participants from different organisations.

What makes this briefing different

  • It is not specifically aimed at M&E specialists or technical experts.
  • It has been developed for those making organisational and other key decisions based on evidence generated by monitoring systems.
  • The emphasis is on how senior management can guide those responsible for monitoring, learning and producing stories.
  • It outlines monitoring as a management process, the purpose of which is defined by questions, not indicators.
  • It avoids technical aspects of data collection tools and evaluation.
  • We send you a pre-session questionnaire to learn a little about your organisation so we can try to tailor the session for each group.

Who will be leading the session

Daniel Ticehurst, NEF Consulting Associate, mentor and coach in monitoring systems and evaluation

Daniel is passionate about supporting others in realising change in ‘systems’ on which they and their organisations depend.  He has spent 30 years in monitoring and evaluation, including strategy development, theories of change, developing monitoring and learning processes and  in reviews and impact evaluations. Most of his experience has been gained on long-term assignments in Africa and Asia with the UN, the World Bank, private sector companies and a wide range of international and Local NGOs. He also worked in the UK supporting the M&E practice of the South East of England Regional Development Agency as their performance management advisor.


Cost, timings and venues

This briefing session can be one-to-one or for a team or group and is usually held at our offices in London. However, it is possible to deliver it on-site for an additional cost.

As an important element of each briefing is discussion, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire prior to attending the session in order to tailor the content as much as possible to the needs of each group.

One-to-one briefings – sample pricing

Half day:  £750 or, if you are from a registered charity, £650 – contact us to discuss a firm price and date

Groups from one organisation – sample pricing

2-3 people:  Half day:  £950, or if a registered charity, £850 – contact us to discuss a firm price and date
4-6 people:   Full day: £1,450, or if a registered charity, £1,350  – contact us to discuss a firm price and date

Also available as an Open Briefing – up to four participants from different organisations

Price per participant: £495 or, for a registered charity, £395.  Date: 6 June 2018, 10 am to 2 pm – London. Book here. *LAST CHANCE TO BOOK*

Booking form

All fees are subject to U.K. VAT.  Fee includes refreshments and lunch where relevant, as well as training materials.

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