The M&E technical working group continues to be my favourite Malawian project. Last week was TWG #4 where we further developed the idea of a centralised data base system and reviewed participants mini projects to improve data collection in their work. I was particularly pleased with this latter part of the workshop.
I started with a ‘Literature review’ on Action Learning and Reflective practice. This helped them better understand some completely new theory to all of them. After this backgrounding I ran a short sociometric exercise on how long they had been practicing M&E and from this created pairs with different levels of experience.
The next step was for each pair to help each other develop a 2min presentation on what they had developed in TWG #2, what they had done and to reflect on the process.
When asked to record what they had learned during the session, by far the majority referred to Action Learning in some way – some examples:
- How the action research process works to improve M&E and the learning process
- Learned from the actions taken by other M&E officers to achieve an improvement in data collection
- At least that action research/learning, one needs to reflect and act upon the identification of gaps and what has worked and what has not worked
- The application of action learning/research in day to day M&E activities and how it can help in reflection
- The concept of action research and how to apply it in my day to day activities
- What action research is and the importance of action reports
- A reflection of the data collection process.
- That I can use the action research approach to improve on data collection process of my project. It is good to get everyone involved in the process because it gets people talk the same language at the end of the day. – you plan together on what to collect and how – you implement – you reflect and then modify the tools or process where necessary.