OCIC's e-Magazine iAM: Ideas, Actions, Movements
Click the image above to view iAM Volume 8: Measure What Matters
According to the United Nations 2016 Sustainable Development Goals Report, “between 1990 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 per cent, and the mortality rate of children under age 5 fell by more than half.” The desire to achieve positive, sustainable change like this is at the heart of many development initiatives, and international cooperation organizations have long used monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to provide evidence such as these statistics to demonstrate their impact.
Monitoring and Evaluation (the process of tracking program performance and measuring impact) is and has always been a critical element of international cooperation. Often unseen by the public, and misunderstood even within NGOs, the meaning, purpose and process of M&E has evolved over time in response to various social, political, economic and environmental forces. It is because of M&E that we are able to know exactly how much the infant mortality rate has fallen in the past 27 years, for example, and how far we still have to go to end global poverty. For this volume of OCIC’s iAM: Ideas, Actions, Movements, we wanted to shine a light on the critical role of M&E in achieving global sustainable development.
iAM Volume 8: Measure What Matters features 10 multimedia pieces from contributors worldwide passionate about using M&E as a tool for effecting change on global issues that matter. In Navigating Uncharted Waters, Marc Brown of World Vision Canada writes about their efforts to end exploitative child labour through policy change, and the challenges of measuring their effectiveness. In Empowering Women and Girls through Evaluation of a Small, Water-Based NGO, Stephanie K. Lu shares her personal drive to improve outcomes for women and girls in Uganda by embedding evaluative thinking into their community water and sanitation programs.
This volume also shares tools for taking action. Rosie Slater and Ellie Stephen’s The CIVICUS Monitor: Fighting Repression of Civic Space introduces a monitoring tool any of us can use to track freedom of association in various countries, while Natalie Zend’s Challenges of Meaningful Application of RBM shares tips on making results based management not just a box ticking exercise, but a meaningful way to adapt for change.
There is room for critical reflection too. Jasmine Vallve confronts her own bias against quantitative data collection while learning data visualization in her article More Than Words, and M&E experts Jakub Nemec and Paula Richardson discuss the community implications of top-down M&E processes in M&E: Extractive or Empowering?
iAM Volume 8: Measure What Matters presents M&E from new, critical, societal and personal perspectives, and comes at an important moment in the movement toward global sustainable development. One in eight of the world’s population still lives in poverty; 58 million children between six to 11 years old worldwide are not in school; and millions around the world are facing the effects of climate change. With recent political, social and economic shifts toward nationalism and exclusion, it is easy to be pessimistic about the state of international cooperation and movements toward global sustainable development. Yet through effective M&E, we can not only prove that international cooperation has created positive outcomes for millions of people, we can also ensure that we can adapt our approaches to address societal shifts, and effectively create a sustainable future. This, in the end, is what really matters.
What is iAM?
iAM is a multimedia e-magazine published by OCIC that promotes an increased awareness and understanding of global issues. iAM encourages critical thinking and presents new perspectives from a variety of actors through visual art, music, written articles, photo essays, videos and more. iAM examines how theory and action intersect, looks at how to put reflection into practice, and unites marginalized voices from around the world in the name of global social justice, human dignity and participation for all.
Explore all volumes of iAM: Ideas, Actions, Movements
View Volumes 1-8 below. The accessible version of iAM Vol.5 can be found here.