Global Health

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Monitoring and evaluation provide information on what a program or project is doing, how well it is performing and whether it is achieving its aims and objectives.

M&E also gives guidance on future program activities and are a crucial part of accountability to funding agencies and stakeholders.

Captiva Africa LLC has set up an M&E Unit in response to increased requests from partners in the development space to conduct monitoring and evaluation engagements. The M&E unit is the hub of all our evaluation engagements and is anchored on a team of professionals with deep expertise across geographies in Africa.

With more than 10 years in international development, and a growing network of affiliates, Captiva Africa LLC has, through M&E engagements supported clients address the following critical areas:

  • Revising and improving the design of future programs as well as in measuring and disseminating the real impact of their activities on the ground.
  • Gaining better understanding of how to improve the efficiency across their global management systems.
  • Better focus their activities and use of scarce resources and in turn increase the overall impact of their programs
  • Enhancing long term sustainability of the interventions.

The M&E Unit will allow us to continue delivering high quality evaluation and monitoring services, by maintaining and growing its client portfolio while responding to current demands for more in-depth analysis of impact of different programs.

Program Evaluations

Captiva Africa LLC

Evaluations can be performed by external agencies or by project staff, peer workers and stakeholders, or a combination of all. Whilst external involvement lends technical expertise and objectivity to evaluations, the use of project staff and peer networks in an evaluation builds their capacity and provides a sense of ownership of the results. From our experience a combination of the two approaches in certain contexts provides the most useful information.

Program evaluation is a tool with which to demonstrate accountability to different stakeholders including funders, community leaders, implementing agencies, policy makers, state and local agencies.

Program evaluation is a tool with which to demonstrate accountability to different stakeholders including funders, community leaders, implementing agencies, policy makers, state and local agencies. While evaluation of public health programs is a complex and varied field, all evaluations are conducted with a view to answering key basic questions in particular: whether the program is meeting its objectives through the intended process and if why or why not.

Our teams of professionals have competencies in complex analyses and in conducting evaluations based on appropriate evaluation designs and mixed methods and have adequate knowledge of and experience with epidemiology. This has ensured that we are able to meet demanding deadlines with quality deliverables.

Third Party Monitoring

Captiva Africa LLC

Monitoring can be done by the project staff themselves or by an independent Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (M&E) department within the organization. Alternatively, the agencies may opt for peer monitoring, where two different agencies monitor each other’s activities. The last option is to use a third party unrelated to the funding or implementing agency.

For many entities operating in hostile environments, third party monitoring has been an integral part of the programming. Third Party Monitoring (TPM) involves contracting third parties to collect and verify monitoring data. It is used in insecure contexts by development agencies to monitor activities of partners where development agencies or their staff have restricted or no access. Through third party monitoring, Captiva Africa LLC supports development agencies in addressing the following challenges faced when they rely on remote monitoring:

  • Ability to oversee and ensure the quality of programs
  • The increased exposure of programmes to fraud and corruption
  • Inability to ensure the quality of data and reporting
  • A reduced ability to build the capacity of personnel and partners
We appreciate that Third Party Monitoring is more effective when used as a last resort and in complementary to the implementing agency’s own monitoring systems.

At Captiva Africa LLC we leverage our local knowledge and networks on the continent to provide or broker TPM services to our clients. We appreciate that TPM is more effective when used as a last resort and in complementary to the implementing agency’s own monitoring systems.

We have over time observed the following advantages to opting for TPM over the other mechanisms.

  • Accountability: In most insecure contexts, a TPM is considered an integral part of the process and this ensures there is minimum level of accountability
  • Neutrality of the findings: there are always three parties to the arrangement- the funding agency, the implementer and the third party monitor and this minimises on any biases in the data collected.
  • TPM allows for semi-triangulation of the data as the funding agency can compare between the data from the implementing agency and the TPM
  • Enables access to data: It enables the funding agency to have access to data even if they do not have physical access to the location to themselves

Captiva Africa LLC helps clients evaluate the monitoring mechanisms to adopt taking into account such key factors as access to data and information, time, experience, credibility, neutrality and independence. For example, when it comes to access to data, monitoring conducted from within the entity being monitored is the optimal choice. From our experience peer monitoring may be a double edged sword if the two parties hide each other’s limitations or highlight negative aspects of what might be perceived as a potential competitor.

Generally we encourage clients to do as much of their own monitoring as practical. In any case agencies should regularly assess the practice of relying on TPM and options for insourcing monitoring should be regularly re-evaluated. TPM should be complemented by acceptance building measures, community feedback systems and transparent communication with local communities including the beneficiaries.