Are you tired of constantly having to refer back to your funding application to check that you're on course with M&E or achieving and evidencing your outcomes? Have you ever had a funny feeling you've missed something but not quite sure what? Have you ever sat down to write an evaluation report and kicked yourself when you finally realised what you missed... but its too late?
This simple template could just help with some of your M&E headaches! Read on...
Alright I admit it... I can answer yes to all of the above questions! Like many youth music organisations out there AudioActive is a very small charity. Capacity is often stretched, we are still learning to deliver programmes using an outcomes approach, key staff are often the gatekeepers to a lot of the knowledge around individual programmes and even worse, they can move on and take such awareness with them.
All of this is why we felt the need to develop a M&E planning/project management tool that helps to manage the above challenges & risks and ultimately create a more efficient but rigorous approach to M&E.
(Loosely!) derived from a Theory of Change & Logic Model framework we have looked at a few different models out there and come up with something that we think is about right for the kind of work we do. This is a work in progress and not a polished or proven approach so we would welcome any constructive feedback (we're not easily offended!)
If you use this, the work is frontloaded but its relatively simple to create with some basic MS Excel skills (mainly merge and centre!). Just paste in your Outcomes, Indicators, Activities and Outputs from your application. Then line up the evidence you said you'd collect alongside the most appropriate indicators and hey presto, all you have to do then is plan when you will collect each bit of evidence and who should do it!
We try to get one of these done in the space of 1 day at the start of a programme with a couple of colleagues. Once its complete it saves DAYS of time in project management further down the line and its also a great way to include Music Leaders and help them to get a better awareness of every aspect of the programme.
OK here it is attached, please give it a go if you think it would work for you and let us know how you get on.