It has come to our attention that several donors are asking grantees to be trained in the ELOM for purposes of assessing their programmes. This is a welcome development as evidence on the effectiveness of our programmes is required. So while supporting this, it is important that the following points are appreciated:
- The ELOM was designed for both programme improvement (monitoring) and evaluation purposes.
- The ELOM is likely to be most useful to non profit organisations for monitoring and improving programmes. Through examining children’s performance on the ELOM we can make judgements as to which aspects of the early learning programme might need strengthening in order to meet the needs of children in particular areas such as language development. This should occur prior to evaluations of programme performance.
- We need evaluations of programme effectiveness. However, programmes need to be plausible (likely to succeed), established, and ready for evaluation otherwise results are likely to be disappointing and have unintended negative consequences for both donors and those they fund.
- We still need data on the extent to which our programmes can make a difference (particularly for the poorest children). We are embarking on research that will provide information on this question in 2018 with results available in 2019.
- Using the ELOM requires a package of services: the training and accrediting of ELOM assessors, data analysis and interpretation support, support to ensure that the programme that is being measured is properly implemented and the sample is appropriate so that the results are meaningful. Training of assessors should only be undertaken when there is a clear plan to embark on a monitoring or evaluation exercise, and workplans incorporate assessment time.
Please feel free to contact us for further discussion.
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