Reviewing the impact of strengthening actions: Questions for a grassroots discussion
There are many approaches to monitoring and evaluation. In a self-strengthening process, these exercises should be community-based and participatory, involving a diversity of actors from the custodian community. Importantly, they should be planned in advance of specific activities. Some useful questions for a grassroots discussion include:
- Is our community willing to monitor change while taking action?
- Who is willing to participate in monitoring and evaluation? Is there a community group willing to take responsibility for this?
- Are dedicated resources (time, financial support, training, etc.) available? If not, who can help? Why would they assist our community?
- Who will compile the monitoring results?
- Who will discuss and interpret the monitoring results, evaluate them and propose revisions to the relevant initiatives? Should the entire community be involved? Should others, outside the community, be informed and engaged in interpretation and follow-up?
- How will lessons be compiled and conserved for future consultation and use?
Monitoring and evaluation are important for ensuring that the specific activities designed to strengthen territory of life are having the desired results. It helps that the custodian community can adjust its plans and approaches as needed over time. The facilitation team can help the community with questions such as:
- Are we implementing the activities agreed within the community and/or with others to move towards our vision for our territory of life?
- Are we obtaining the desired results and impacts?
- In particular do we see any related change in the indicators we have identified for each of the five “building blocks” for our territory of life?
- Are there remaining information gaps or new challenges?
- What additional or amended action do we need to take to address these gaps and challenges?
- Is there any element of our self-strengthening process that we should revisit, now or in the future?