Improving Monitoring for Greater Impact

A masterclass for those making key decisions based on evidence generated by monitoring systems.

This one-day workshop 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 day focuses on monitoring performance rather than evaluation. Participants will be able to identify specific areas in which to improve their current monitoring systems, and learn to introduce changes that will have the greatest impact.

About the course

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 course.

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 course, 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 should attend

The course 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.

What makes this course 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.

Who will be running the course

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.


Prices, dates and venue

Price: £495 or, for a registered charity, £395.

Booking form

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

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