It’s that time of the year again where we resolve to re-enter the gym; eat something that resembles a vegetable; and watch less Netflix. We at Clear Horizon are no different. We asked some of our consultants to share their resolutions or ‘eval-utions’ that will guide how they practice M&E in 2016 and beyond.

‘Ask the right questions’- Tom Hannon, Consultant

In scoping projects, I’d like to focus on asking the right questions early on. This is important to both get to the core of what clients really want and to communicate clearly back to them what is realistic within time and budgetary constraints.

‘Know the client’s organisational environment’ – Lee-Anne Molony, Managing Director

This year I want to take a more structured approach to situating client requirements within their specific organisational context. We are increasingly working with clients to support them to better meet their monitoring and evaluation needs themselves and this work requires a good understanding of organisational development.

‘Develop evaluation plans that make sense to the client’ – Caitlin Barry, Senior Consultant

A big focus for me in 2016 will be understanding how the client needs their evaluation plan to be written and laid-out so that it makes sense to them. It’s easy to get too hung-up about what the literature says is a “good” evaluation plan; they must first and foremost be accessible and useable for the client and their organisation.

‘Variety is the spice of evaluation’ – Jess Dart, Founding Director

In a financially constrained environment, it could be useful to try a few different evaluation methods. For example, get the project team to conduct an internal evaluation and then have the external evaluator conduct a verification process.

‘Help clients to think like evaluators’ – Carina Calzoni, Principal Consultant

My eval-ution is to really focus on meaningful monitoring and work with clients so that they can use evaluative thinking to improve programs and/or develop targeted programs. Clients’ motivation to collect data is usually to demonstrate program performance, and they are often unaware of the possibility of using data for ongoing program improvement or program development.

‘Technology in M&E’ – Angelos Blackwood, Research Assistant

This year I want to learn how to better draw upon the range of Information and Communication Technologies that can be used in M&E, such as mobile phones as data collection tools and the insights now available through web analytics.