7 ways to strengthen your M&E capacity in 2020

colourful umbrellas in the sky

Welcome to the BetterEvaluation blog for 2020! You might have noticed a gap in our blogs and newsletters as we've been working behind the scenes on some big changes for the next stage of BetterEvaluation. We will be sharing more details with you soon. 

Strengthening evaluation capacity of individuals, organisations and systems continues to be a major focus for BetterEvaluation so in this blog we present 7 ways that might be useful when planning how to do evaluation better in 2020.

1. Team up with your peers  

You could join or start a peer learning group, such as a book group or learning circle. Groups can provide support, help you stay motivated, and give you a more in depth understanding of the specific topic areas in evaluation.  As part of this you might undergo a peer-assessment of your skills and knowledge. In combination with regular self-assessment, undertaking peer-assessment can be an illuminating method to better understand your strengths and blind spots, and provides an opportunity for peer-learning.

2. Attend a conference 

Conferences are a great way to connect with the latest research and methods, and connect with a network of fellow practitioners. There are conferences that cover almost every permutation of monitoring and evaluation. Find conferences appropriate to you on our events page, and let us know if you want to recommend another conference of interest to the BetterEvaluation community. 

3. Get involved with your local evaluation society or association

Evaluation societies and associations are a great way to connect to evaluators in your local area, or who are focused on your particular area of interest. Societies can give support, share resources, and help you find out about events. Find links to a number of evaluation societies on our option page - let us know if you belong to one we've missed.

4. Find (or become) a mentor 

Finding a mentor can fast-track your evaluation journey with tailored insights and answers to your specific situation from a more experienced practitioner. Similarly, for those who are more advanced in their evaluation career, being a mentor is a great opportunity to articulate your knowledge and learnings, and can help you gain fresh perspectives from the new kids on the block. Head to our method page on mentoring for more great reasons to try mentoring as well as resources to get you started. 

5. Try out a new method or process ​

Dive into the deep end. Browse the Rainbow Framework to find unfamiliar approaches and methods that pique your curiosity. Not sure where to start?  Our new page on graphic recording written by Katherine Haugh is a fun option to (literally) try your hand at.

6. Join a challenge to practice a new skill in a safe environment

There's nothing like a deadline, feedback from your community and a little friendly competition to quickly hone your skills. If you're keen to workout your DataViz abilities, #MakoverMonday could be the weekly challenge for you, or find similar challenges in this blog.

7. Contribute to BetterEvaluation! 

What better way to crystallise what you’ve learned about a topic through your research or practice than by writing about it or sharing resources with the BetterEvaluation community. You could write a guest blog post, steward a content area, share additional resources, tell us about events and much more. Find out more about contributing.