Monitoring and evaluation is a discipline that has just lately evolved as an essential component of international development. It is also commonly abbreviated as M&E, which stands for monitoring and evaluation. In the past, employing a dedicated M&E staff was either unheard of or seen as nothing more than a possible additional expense. However, in the modern world of business, companies not only contract with external organisations to carry out their development projects, but they also contract with consultants (also known as M&E specialists) to keep an eye on things and ensure that everything is moving by the plan. This is done to reduce risk and ensure that the development projects are completed successfully.
The fact that this is a brand new area has resulted in a huge skills gap between the persons needed to fulfil this requirement and those who are now available to fill these roles. Those who can meet the standards for jobs in this industry will discover that there are many options to pursue.
You need to try your hand at the following activities if you are a young professional interested in creating a career in monitoring and evaluation firms.
It is essential to Possess the Necessary Capabilities.
Anyone who works in the M&E industry is obliged to have some degree of technical skill to maintain their employment. When we say “technical,” we mean that you need to improve your quantitative abilities, such as your ability to analyse and evaluate data. This is what we mean when we say you need to become more “technical.” The study of statistics (or mathematics), econometrics, and other subjects concerned with data analysis and interpretation all have a role in this setting. One example of such a field is linguistics. The ability to deal with various computer applications, such as SPSS and STATA, is essential. Suppose you are interested in expanding your understanding of monitoring and assessment. You can access various educational opportunities, including courses, certificates, and degrees at various levels. Investigate the many open alternatives, and be sure you have the necessary mathematics abilities and certifications. It is strongly recommended that those interested in pursuing careers as M&E specialists in areas such as forestry, nutrition, or reproductive health pursue further degrees in related subjects. The more work experience you have, the better your chances are of increasing your marketability and your capacity to specialise in your chosen subject.
You need to cultivate a curious mind to uncover the answers to the questions you’ve been asking.
If this describes you, you have the mindset of a maintenance and operations monitoring and evaluation firms worker. A person who is responsible for monitoring and evaluation has to have the ability to think critically to ask the right questions, figure out whether or not something is being done, and even make informed estimates about the prospective implications of the project. All of these tasks call for an extraordinarily curious mind and one with outstanding judgment and insight.
Always make it a habit to read about the topic you’re studying.
Investigate the subject in great detail to comprehensively understand development programs. Educate yourself on the standard procedures and methods. Acquire a thorough understanding of international standards and laws applicable to your field, including ISO 9000, PRINCE 2, and GAPPS.
Establish both a local and an international network.
You need to build networks in the industry for two primary reasons: to get guidance and information and to assist you in being recruited. You might seek the advice of industry professionals on how to get started, what to do initially, and where to go to get training. It is important to listen to the stories seasoned specialists share about how they started in the field and the errors they made along the road. If it is deemed essential, one might employ a coach or a mentor for the same objective. There are presently many development projects that span international borders; thus, one must broaden one’s global network. Remember this if you’re thinking about making a career out of this at monitoring and evaluation firms. You won’t spend the whole of your professional life in a single place at any time.
Learn from Industry Professionals.
Young professionals who are interested in M&E professions often seek more experienced professionals to build formal training programs so they may learn the ropes. By viewing these programs, you may gain knowledge on a variety of topics from the perspective of an expert. Ripa International is one organisation of this kind. It is responsible for organising formal programs and seminars where professionals in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) share their expertise and experience with the next generation. The most recent trends in monitoring and evaluation firms, data management, and effective ways to make the M&E process more efficient are some topics that will be discussed.