Sunday, August 9, 2009
Certificate in International Perspectives on Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
I know that's a mouthful, but I have just been granted this certificate. I took a 3-month course, a joint certification program through PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia) in India and the University of Victoria in Canada. My goal was to learn how to monitor and evaluate community projects in India, Nepal and Bangladesh for funding, since JAC was to become a fundraising organization and would be funding projects in southeast Asia. The course started my first week in California (early April) and ended in mid-July. I worked my butt off but was ill-prepared for the amount of work involved, the serious traveling I had to do in the middle of it (not to mention the Himalayan Fair), and my total lack of social-work experience. By the end of the course, I was literally expecting to fail the course, not because I didn't learn anything. On the contrary, I learned an enormous amount but felt my lack of social-work experience did not allow me to even imagine how I would apply what I learned on the ground in India, for example. But, I did my best, and they not only are giving me this certificate, they're giving me an A! (I wept.) I am deeply proud of myself. If any of you know about participatory monitoring and evaluation, you'll know what an impressive process it is. I feel so blessed to have taken this course and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to do deep monitoring and evaluation in a way that will empower stakeholders, create valuable data, and lay groundwork for further development.