Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
SOME Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have indefinitely suspended projects due to Covid-19 induced disruptions.
In some instances, the NGOs have been forced to realigned their programmes to include Covid-19.
The pandemic has disrupted livelihoods as some sectors have been forced to scale down operations with employees losing jobs due to Covid-19 impact.
Nearly 300 monitoring and evaluation practitioners recently held an online meeting to discuss the impact of Covid-19 especially in the sector.
Lupane State University’s (LSU) Faculty of Humanities and Social Science coordinated the meeting as universities collaborate with Government, private sector and NGOs to promote socio-economic development.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Dean Dr Thulani Dube led the discussions where participants mainly from NGOs sector in Matabeleland region resolved that there would be no return to pre Covid-19 normalcy.
Dr Dube said organisations should embrace social distancing and technology-based field works.
He said the global pandemic has seen some projects which involves large gatherings being suspended as they can no longer be implemented due to changes brought by Covid-19.
“Some NGOs have cancelled projects that involve a lot of interactions with people especially where people have to go to the field and interact closely. Some of the projects are either cancelled or postponed indefinitely. And there are other projects that have to reorient themselves and integrate the issue of Covid-19. For example, water and sanitation projects have integrated the Covid-19 aspect,” he said.
Dr Dube said monitoring and evaluation practitioners should rethink how they can remain relevant in this pandemic era.
He said instead of always being on the ground, the practitioners need allow beneficiaries of projects to lead the developmental agenda.
“We are just agreed that monitoring and evaluation programme just like other sectors, is not going to work the same way. We are going to need to be very strong on technology that allows online working and working from home,” he said.
“Practitioners also need to bring communities out there to be part of what we do in monitoring and evaluation.
Communities need to be more involved so that there is less contact with external people. Monitoring and evaluation officers will maybe just go to the ground for quality assurance but going forward there will be less contact with people who conduct monitoring and evaluation programmes unless where it’s absolutely necessary.”
Dr Dube said while monitoring and evaluation practitioners might be tech savvy, projects may be compromised as those on the ground may sometime fail to use technological gadgets in the implementation of projects.