Leadership in M&E Promoted in SE Asia
In June 2010, MEASURE Evaluation launched a Leadership Development Program in the Southeast Asia Regional Office (SARO) of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Even though the program focused on SARO, its impact has extended far beyond to other IPPF offices worldwide, leading to improved data collection and use throughout the organization.
MEASURE Evaluation provides technical assistance to IPPF’s SARO under the Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) Associate Award. The purpose of this assistance is to develop SARO’s data collection and use leadership abilities and to cultivate an office-wide culture that emphasizes monitoring and evaluation (M&E), creating regional capacity and sustainability in turn. To work toward these goals, the Leadership Development Program responded to the following specific challenges identified by Anjali Sen, regional director of SARO, and Heidi Marriot, head of organizational learning and evaluation at IPPF-London:
- The devalued role of M&E at SARO
- The perception that only M&E professionals conduct M&E
- An ongoing disconnect between data collected and decision making
The program’s 17 participants included programmatic, administrative and M&E staff from SARO along with managers from Family Planning Association of India (FPAI), India’s IPPF member association. Participants divided into three teams – the SARO Program Team, the SARO Organizational Strengthening Team and the FPAI Team. Having representatives from both the Southeast Asia and Indian offices led to the added benefit of strengthening global communication and partnerships within the organization.
On March 30, 2011, the results presentation took place with support from Sen and Marriot. Garry Dearden, director of organizational effectiveness and governance at IPPF-London, also attended.
SARO Program Team
Following the steps in its action plan, the SARO Program Team developed and successfully piloted a database that includes information about infrastructure services (facilities, structures and equipment), staffing components and drug supply for clinics in India and Sri Lanka’s IPPF member associations. This system remains on target to be expanded throughout the region by the end of the current year.
SARO Organizational Strengthening Team
This team’s goal was to ensure that detailed information on member associations, including services offered, human resources capacity, clinic performance and recommendations from previous visits, is available and used by SARO officers before conducting all future technical assistance visits. The team developed an integrated travel and trip report information system as a repository for information about these visits. After integrating it with the financial system, the team piloted the information system, finding it effective in allowing SARO staff members who are planning to visit member associations to review their colleagues’ comments and recommendations from previous trips. It also allowed them to keep track of the trip budget and actual expenses.
The FPAI Team set out to increase one of its clinic’s clientele by 10 percent by improving employee understanding of the data they collected as well as how this data could be used for decision making. Increased data acumen empowered the clinic staff to make changes which, in turn, led to improved services and a boost in client numbers – from a baseline of 2,561 in September to 3,893 in January, an increase of 52 percent, well above the team’s target.
This team also offered the clinic staff a workshop, which transpired over two meetings, based on the Leadership Development Program’s methodology and principles. Participants developed a vision with desired measurable results and explored obstacles and root causes. As a result, staff members reviewed their roles and responsibilities and began working more effectively as a team. The clinic staff held monthly meetings to review data collected about services delivered, while also learning to interpret the data.
Global Opportunities and Impact
While the three teams focused on projects for the Southeast Asia Regional Office, in interviews following the results presentation, both Dearden and Marriott of IPFF expressed enthusiasm about the possibility of applying the processes developed at this Leadership Development Program to other regional offices. Doing so would multiply the impact worldwide and create greater opportunities and results for the entire organization.