This tool is a presentation that the Open Society Foundations’ Economic Justice Program MEL team delivered to program colleagues to get them more familiar with MEL and suggest practical steps for considering it in their work.
This resource is part of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.
Authors and their affiliation
Andrea Azevedo and Robin Varghese - Economic Justice Program MEL Team, Open Society Foundations
Key features of the Introduction to MEL for program staff
Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) planning is often left until last in strategy development. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that strategies struggle to connect activities to ambition—and evaluations have little to go on when it comes to understanding contribution. When the Open Society Foundations’ Economic Justice Program (EJP) began its strategy development process in 2019, it brought MEL in from the beginning. The program’s Strategy & Impact Unit encouraged an evaluative mindset from the start; its MEL team developed resources and guided program colleagues as they developed portfolio strategies. This tool is a presentation that the MEL team delivered to program colleagues to get them more familiar with MEL and suggest practical steps for considering it in their work.
How have you used or intend on using this Introduction to MEL?
This presentation provided EJP staff with an overview of how the program’s MEL team was supporting monitoring, evaluation, and learning across the portfolios. It provided the teams that were designing grant-making strategies with information about how to develop portfolio-level learning agendas and work plans, and what support was available to them from the EJP MEL team.
Why would you recommend it to other people?
These slides provide succinct messaging for a program-focused audience on the value of different MEL activities—such as baseline data collection. It could be especially helpful for other organizations working to build a learning culture and support MEL activities among program staff.
Azevedo, A. & Varghese, R. (2020). Introduction to MEL for program staff. Retrieved from https://www.betterevaluation.org/tools-resources/introduction-mel-for-program-staff