Staff from Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI) went through a 2-day training on “Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)” from 23-24 September, at MJI’s office in Yangon.

It was the very first time for MJI to go through such M&E training for their organisational operation. The training was specially tailored for MJI to increased understanding towards monitoring and evaluation for MJI as a whole organisation. Also, to form a base for continuous work to strengthen the management of MJI to assure relevancy and quality of MJI’s work.

Staff from management, finance, communications and training departments – 7 staff –  joined the training, which was led by Ms. Stina Oskarsson, an M&E advisor at Fojo Media Institute in Kalmar, Sweden.

“When you start discussing these things (monitoring & evaluation-M&E), it becomes clear that everyone in the organization play an important role in contributing to M&E”, Stina reflected after 2-day training.

While going through the project-learning cycle, Kyaw Min Swe, the MJI’s executive director, said, “Our weakness is in both monitoring and evaluation for the whole organisation. Right now, we are seriously considering to have an M&E staff for MJI’s future M&E purpose.”

Aung Myo Thant, a full-time trainer with MJI for more than 3 years, shared that as trainers they couldn’t allocate time to reflect and draw out lessons-learned from the trainings they have provided. Those reflection would be for the meaningful inputs for a new cycle of training-planning. Currently, MJI has received many training requests from their clients in Myanmar, which brings up MJI’s self-generated income to a new level.

Stina highlighted, “For MJI, there are challenges finding the time to really prioritise monitoring for evaluation and learning. This is so important for any organization, in order to know for sure that you are on the right track and making the most of your potential to reach your goals. It’s really encouraging to see a growing awareness about this in the MJI’s team, as well as their eagerness to learn more.”

Having clear M&E guidelines and component for each staff members towards their roles and responsibilities, will balance and feed in the MJI’s management to improve their operations in greater quality and sustainability.

Myo Aung Kyaw, a fulltime multimedia trainer, said “After this training, I understand the importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and how to use it. I really like the parts of Result based Management (RBM) and M&E Learning Cycle. In MJI, we haven’t applied M&E practices in systematically. I am expecting that we will have a proper M&E template in MJI very soon.”

The training raised awareness on interconnectedness between each staff member’s roles and responsibilities, and MJI’s overall goals.

At the end of the training, MJI requested Fojo Media Institute to have a follow-up M&E training in 2020, for MJI’s senior staff who haven’t had a chance to join this training, and to follow-up the implementation points from the current training.

The training was initiated and supported by Southeast Asia Media Training Network (SEAMTN), a 3-year project steered by Fojo Media Institute, funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Report by Nai Nai & Yu Lwin Soe