– by Noluthando Makhaza
Imagine if we lived in a world where government officials, community leaders, private sector management and executives do not account for any of the programmes and projects they initiate and manage. Accountability is the most important link for government, organisations and people and without it, there is no trust. If there is no trust, protests are usually inevitable. At UKZN Extended Learning we offer a Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Skills Programme which does not only equip participants with the necessary skills to undertake Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) functions but also instils ethical values for business and the community, such as accountability and trustworthiness.
Recently, a group of enthusiastic delegates took it upon themselves to enhance their M&E skillset by attending the first block session of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Skills Programme. This six-month training programme commenced in May where delegates attended for a week and will continue to attend in block sessions for one week every month until October. During the first block session, the programme’s facilitation team was comprised of vastly knowledgeable academics and experts in the M&E field, namely; Mr. Gordon Fakude, Professor Paulus Zulu, Mr. Sithabiso Khuzwayo as well as Mr. Lukhona Mnguni. Our facilitators lectured on the following modules: Intro to Research Methods in M&E Practice; Intro to Performance Monitoring and Management; Intro to M&E Practice in Development Management; and M&E Theory and Practice. Although this was the first block session, the lectures were extremely interactive as delegates had a lot to share which assisted them in linking the theory into their daily practical application in the workplace.
Our delegation came from diversified career backgrounds, from both public and private sectors. Ms. Sbahle Mkhize, who is a UKZN Alumni and is currently seeking employment after finishing her internship programme at The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs was also part of the programme. When we asked her to share her expectations she stated the following:
“So far the programme has taught me a lot as well as the importance of having indicators in place which would assist in gauging whether the project objectives were successful or not. My expectations over the next six months is to leave the programme having gained enormous skills and knowledge on how to run successful projects while applying the various M&E techniques taught on the programme. As I am currently seeking employment, the M&E skills will come in very handy as I would need to demonstrate my ability to execute successful projects for my future employer using the techniques acquired from this programme”.
We would like wish all our delegation the best of luck and we hope that the programme will open them to new opportunities and more improved ways of conducting M&E functions in their workplaces. M&E is basically applicable to any job type, be it Marketing, Finance, Engineering, Supply Chain, and so forth, for as long as one is running a project within a specific time frame. To all those wishing to enrol on the next intake, please contact:
T: +27 31 260 4665