Developing a monitoring and evaluation system for a child nutrition program in Nepal: a qualitative study
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Background: It is estimated that 45 percent of deaths among children under five years of age is caused by undernutrition. Several organizations are trying to help the governments in reducing undernutrition. However, to achieve the organizations desired goals, and secure future funding, they need a monitoring and evaluation system (M&E) to show their program’s effectiveness. Many new organizations do not have a proper M&E system in place. Objectives: The overall aim was to develop a monitoring and evaluation system for a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to improve child nutrition and health in Nepal, and to explore how it was experienced by the employees and volunteers of the NGO. Methods: Qualitative data was collected using two methods: Interviews with the organization’s staff and volunteers, and observations from the meetings and discussions during the development phase of the M&E system. Results: The organization’s goal is to reduce undernutrition among children through increased nutritional knowledge, attitude, and practice among the mothers. This is to be achieved through providing information, group discussions, and lectures about nutrition and hygienic practices. The researcher developed an M&E system for their mother’s group program. The staff and volunteers had positive experiences towards the M&E system, however, they felt that the training period was too short. Conclusion: It is important to understand the organization’s goals and implementation of the theory of change when developing an M&E system. Furthermore, one should include the staff and volunteers in the decision making of the developing and designing phases of the M&E system. Including the staff and volunteers can make it more plausible to succeed in implementing the system. Further studies are needed to study the mechanisms of the designing and development process of an M&E systems, and to explore the staff and volunteer’s experiences.
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