36 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

T +44 (0) 20 7958 8251
admin@lidc.bloomsbury.ac.uk

My experience of the 2015 LIDC short course on Evaluation for Development Programmes

Throughout my working years and my academic experience, I always felt I needed to do a course in monitoring and evaluation. Luckily I discovered the LIDC intensive short course on Evaluation for Development Programmes and the knowledge and network of like-minded professionals gained has proved invaluable to my career and professional development.

Michael is a PhD Candidate in Development Studies at Birkbeck and was a student on the 2015 LIDC Evaluation for Development Programmes short course. He  has 5 years experience working in international development at various United Nations agencies. His previous experience includes working at UNDP's Poverty Practice Group, working with UNDP in Ghana where he supported the design and implementation of the EC/UN Joint Initiative on Migration and Development activities in Ghana and UNDESA where he served as the lead author of the 2013 UN World Youth Report on Youth and Migration.


Throughout my working years and my academic experience, I always felt I needed to do a course in monitoring and evaluation to further enhance my project management skills, but I never knew how to do so in a setting that does not only present the theoretical views, but also practical insights. I was worried also about the cost and time commitment – studying a full-time Ph.D. at Birkbeck College takes a lot of time and I was unsure how would I cope with balancing my workload and how would I pay for the course.

Luckily I discovered the 2015 LIDC intensive short course on Evaluation for Development Programmes and was awarded a bursary to cover all course fees. I was supported at every step of the way and the knowledge and network of likeminded professionals gained has proved invaluable to my career and professional development.

The application process was relatively easy, and the staff at LIDC were extremely helpful in clarifying issues regarding the application submission and also funding. I also enjoyed writing the short motivation note which helped me to reflect on the reason why I wanted to participate in the course and also to make my expectations known to the organisers.

The lectures were very easy to follow. With the first-day session providing an overview of impact evaluations it made it easier for first timers in this area of work to understand key terms. Other sessions explored the theories of change and the counterfactual, ethics of research and evaluation, the politics of fieldwork, introduction to systematic reviews and experimental design methods among others. Relevant context-specific issues and examples, especially from the developing world were also very helpful. The group work sessions were also a fantastic opportunity to transfer my knowledge into practice while getting feedback from the friendly and experienced lecturers who were not only ready to impart knowledge but also to hear our views.

During the course period, I made some valuable connections with students, those already employed in various development institutions and academic lecturers. Having the opportunity to meet people from various countries and diverse development backgrounds gave the course a really interesting angle with different ideas, concepts and approaches to evaluation issues. The support and guidance I received from other students and tutors proved invaluable, knowing that I could always email them and get a quick response gave me continued confidence. I still maintain communication with most participants through Linkedin and other social media platforms. Some became my mentors and were always on hand to answer any queries I have encountered tackling issues related to international development and evaluation. I know that the connections and the network built at the training will continue to benefit me in my career path.

Personally, with this experience, I am so excited about my future. Obtaining a certification in evaluation has given me the confidence to start consulting in this aspect of international development work. Since completing the course, I have been able to offer expert advice on evaluation to youth organisations in Ghana. As a result of my positive experience, I have recommended the course to my friends and colleagues and one of my good friends whom I worked with has applied for the 2016 class!

I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the wonderful staff at LIDC and the tutors who helped me gain the knowledge I now have. I will highly recommend the programme to anyone who wants to start a new journey to improve their career prospects – the flexibility, support and guidance of the friendly staff and tutors are fantastic.

*** The 2016 short course is now open for applications. See http://www.lidc.org.uk/sc-impacteval  ***

 

Add new comment