The European Union funded Technical Assistance project Civic Space organised a series of Monitoring and Evaluation Training workshops. These workshops were specifically designed to benefit the Civil Society Call for Action VII and VIII grant beneficiaries to enhance their skills in monitoring and evaluation. Held on the 12th and 13th of June 2023 in Turkish and on the 15th and 16th of June 2023 in English, these sessions aimed to empower the attendees with practical knowledge and tools to ensure the success of their projects.
Monitoring and evaluation are integral components of project management that help assess progress, performance, and outcomes. Monitoring involves the systematic collection of data and information throughout a project's implementation to ensure alignment with the intended goals. It allows stakeholders to track activities, identify challenges, and make timely adjustments. On the other hand, evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment of a project's effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, and sustainability. It examines the project's outcomes and impact, offering insights into strengths, weaknesses, and lessons learned.
Monitoring and evaluation promote transparency and accountability by providing evidence-based information on project progress and results. This ensures that stakeholders, including funders, beneficiaries, and the wider community, can trust that resources are being utilised effectively.
Regular monitoring enables project managers to track activities, identify bottlenecks, and address issues promptly. Evaluation, meanwhile, highlights areas for improvement, enhancing future planning and decision-making. By integrating these practices, organisations can optimise project management processes.
Civic Space's workshops were tailored to address the specific needs of the Civil Society Call for Action grant beneficiaries. The first session, conducted in Turkish, with the participation of 16 individuals from 8 CSOs. The second session, held in English, had a larger attendance of 20 participants from 11 CSOs. By offering the training in two languages, Civic Space ensured accessibility and inclusivity for a broader range of beneficiaries.
The interactive workshops we conducted were designed to merge theoretical knowledge with practical exercises, offering participants the opportunity to learn key monitoring and evaluation concepts, methodologies, and tools. Through engaging in group discussions, case studies, and hands-on activities, grant beneficiaries gained a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively monitor and evaluate their projects. These workshops provided valuable insights on project steering. The knowledge acquired during the sessions and post-workshop polls has enabled us to re-evaluate and enhance our workshop plan, ultimately improving the overall effectiveness of our workshops. According to a post-workshop poll, participants highly valued field work examples, group exercises, and theoretical information. The workshops also provided a wealth of useful information to consider when preparing new projects. One participant expressed, "We now understand the importance of monitoring and evaluation and how to implement the process effectively to ensure the success of our project. Moreover, we received a wealth of useful information to consider when preparing new projects."
Civic Space's Monitoring and Evaluation Training workshops aimed to play a vital role in empowering Civil Society Call for Action grant beneficiaries. By equipping participants with the necessary skills and knowledge, Civic Space aimed to enhance project effectiveness and impact. The workshops not only fostered accountability and transparency but also promoted continuous learning and adaptation within the participating CSOs. As the beneficiaries implement their projects, the knowledge gained from these workshops will hopefully contribute to their success and enable them to create meaningful change in their communities.
Civic Space is a project funded by the European Union with a total budget of 3,499,550 euros. Its objective is to contribute to building a stronger civil society in the Turkish Cypriot community that supports democratic changes and confidence-building measures.