Determinants of effective monitoring and evaluation systems in non-governmental organizations within Nairobi County, Kenya
Wachamba, Elizabeth Wanjiru
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Organizations are currently in the process of reviewing ways in which monitoring and evaluation can achieve greater consistency and effectiveness in judging the impact of a project as well as getting recommendations on how future interventions can be improved. Building a resulted based M&E system is therefore a requirement by the growing pressure to improving performance which is also one of the requirements by the NGO and donor’s to check on the effective use of the donor funds, impact and benefits brought by the projects. This study looked at the determinants influencing the effectiveness of M&E systems in NGO’s within Nairobi County, Kenya. Its main objectives were: to find out how selection of tools and techniques, the role of management, M&E training and technical expertise of staff contribute to the effectiveness of the M&E system. The study will help NGOs, donor agencies and the project management in better understanding of the M&E systems and how to improve them to meet their expectations. The population for this research was 8,503 NGOs within Nairobi County and the target population was 200 NGOs, who had implemented successful projects and were in the process of monitoring and evaluating them. The sample of this research was selected using stratified random sampling method. The primary data was collected from the project managers or the M&E staff from each NGO. They were handed a questionnaire to fill in, which was later picked from them. Data was analyzed using correlation and regression analysis to establish the relationship between the variables. The SPSS computer program was also used. The findings are presented in tables and charts. The findings indicated that there are difficulties in the application of the M&E systems, which was mainly attributed to the tools and techniques used. This is due to the difficulty in their applicability. The role of management in the operations of the M&E system, although termed as adequate and prompt, also affects the effectiveness of the M&E system. A good number of the respondents had attended training in the M&E systems and termed it as comprehensive and relevant since it contributed to the effectiveness of the M&E system as well as to the competence of the staff. The M&E training was also found to be an important contributor towards induction of local M&E experts in addition to increasing the quality and quantity of the M&E human resource. The technical expertise of the team even though termed as one of the least factor contributing to difficulties in using M&E systems, it determines the echelon of success of the M&E system. The respondents advocated for M&E training as the best approach to improve effectiveness in M&E system. The study concludes that the NGOs should be flexible to allow the modification of their M&E systems including tools and techniques; the management should have the knowhow to run the project and M&E system; a capacity building policy to be put in place to emphasis on M&E training across the NGO sector and a professional association of M&E experts needs to be started. The study recommends the Gazettement of the Public Benefit Act 2013; the integration of the modern technology to the project activities and M&E system; the development of a harmonized training curricula on M&E; M&E training to be tailored toward effective application of tools and techniques and a management that is innovative and interrelate with all aspects of the M&E system. The study also recommends that the project managers and M&E staff in charge of the M&E systems to employee staff with the required technical expertise and offer them training for them to be able to handle the M&E systems effectively.