How? Resources: time and budget
Resources for MEL
You will need resources to plan and implement MEL within your project. You might already have some resources to hand. You probably don’t know what you will need yet. Over the next two lessons, we will look at some of the resources to consider as you work through the other courses here and develop your MEL plan.
Timing – and your time
Now that you have started this course, you might be keen to start ‘doing MEL’ and collecting data as soon as possible. If so, we love your enthusiasm!
There is, however, a trade-off between getting results quickly (say, for a particular requirement) and involving participants, setting up a solid foundation, with appropriate resources, support and knowledge to proceed, and reflecting as you go along. Ideally you will be able to find a balance between any urgent external (or internal) requirements for project performance data, and taking the time to work through the activities thoroughly, involving participants and other stakeholders as you go.
Activity: Answer these questions in your journal:
- What are your timescales for planning and implementing MEL?
- Do you have a deadline for this work?
- If so, when is it and how much time do you have available to work on this between now and then?
- If you don’t have a fixed deadline, how will you organise yourself to keep this work going, amidst your other work commitments?
Activity: Where would you put yourself on this line? You will be somewhere between the snail (very slow) and the cheetah (very fast).
Do you have budget for MEL? If so, how much? Does it have timescales or conditions attached? If there is no allocated budget, what other resources do you have that could help? How will you finance any out of pocket expenses?
Activity: Note down the budget available, timescales and any known external or internal requirements for MEL.
It is possible to design and run MEL with little or no additional financial expenditure, but you will need to consider this during your design process.
Some examples for minimising costs:
- Utilising pre-scheduled visits to project sites (to avoid additional transport costs)
- Incorporating MEL tasks into existing activities
- Asking project participants to help with data collection
- Use of mobile phone technology to aid participatory data collection (e.g. Kobo Toolbox)
- Engaging volunteers and interns to help where possible.
Do you have other ideas for keeping MEL costs down? If so, share them with us in the forum.