Thirty-five ACDI/VOCA Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) staffers from 14 countries and 18 projects gathered in Accra, Ghana, June 14-17, 2016, for the M&E Collaborative Learning Workshop. At the workshop, ACDI/VOCA’s global M&E team shared best practices, discussed new resources and innovations, and worked together to promote quality M&E. This cross-project gathering reflects the importance ACDI/VOCA places on quality M&E and illustrates how data is integral to the implementation of sustainable and impactful projects.

Workshop discussion topics included improvements in data quality thanks to management information system (MIS) relational databases (now used by 19 projects), data quality standards, data visualizations to track progress, the integration of gender into M&E collection and evaluation, climate-smart considerations, the assessment of resilience, among others.

Technology at Heart of Effective M&E

Presenters explained how online platform ASPIREglobal can be used to encourage learning. Jeremy Barnes, Regional Systems and Technology Director, outlined how to leverage technology for data collection and demonstrated the smartcard technology currently used by the Ghana ADVANCE II project.

Importance of Gender Measurement and Evaluation

Quality and Compliance Senior Vice President Lynn McCoy outlined what gender M&E is and why it is important. ACDI/VOCA has been making great strides in disaggregating data by gender; in 2013, for example, only 24 percent of our projects provided gender data. By 2015, 93 percent of projects did.

M&E Teams Encouraged to Think Outside of the Data Box

New M&E Vice President Steve Peck encouraged the M&E teams to consider how the data they work hard to procure, collect, and analyze can be used throughout the organization for learning, work planning, and communication. Many participants voiced their hope that the workshop would become an annual learning event.

M&E Director Moses Musikanga of Zambia’s Production, Finance, and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+)project said that “the learning workshop has brought on board a lot of valuable experiences from different parts of the world. It also exposed us to the depth of innovations ACDI/VOCA is employing to manage its M&E system.”

ACDI/VOCA is proud of the accomplishment of its M&E teams around the world and looks forward to future innovations and collaborations. Seven M&E highlights from 2015 include the following:

  • We worked in 23 countries
  • We reached 4.7 million people, 56 percent of whom are women
  • We provided support for 15 crops
  • We supported six areas of livestock and aquaculture
  • We trained 655,645 farmers and livestock producers
  • 821,019 hectares are cultivated under new technologies or management practices
  • 302,289 people have received health or nutrition services