CUHK Social Work Department Organises the Jockey Club MEL Institute Project Final Project Pitching Day 2021
With a generous donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Department of Social Work of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has since 2019 rolled out a three-year programme, the “Jockey Club MEL Institute Project”, which aims to share with local non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) practitioners knowledge and experience of the concepts of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL). Since its commencement, the project has attracted over 240 participants from different social services and professional backgrounds in local NGOs to complete a 6-month programme, which consists of a 7-week training session and a 4-month mentored practicum.
The Final Project Pitching Day 2021 was held online yesterday (13 April), and a total of 30 teams, each of which includes participants from various NGOs, showcased their application of MEL knowledge and skills on programme evaluation through a five-minute presentation on different assessment topics and innovative reporting methods. The presentations were adjudicated by Mr. Bryan Wong, Head of Charities (Grant Making), The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Prof. Ilan Katz, Professor, The University of New South Wales and Prof. Steven Ngai Sek Yum, Principal Investigator, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Social Work, CUHK to select five Outstanding Award winners.
In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Steven Ngai Sek Yum said, “With the collaboration and support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, overseas and local experts as well as local NGOs, I am glad to see that the importance of the MEL framework has been recognised by more and more local NGOs.” He also expressed pleasure at seeing the learning outcomes of each team.
Mr. Bryan Wong said at the closing remark, “The quality of the sharing today has been consistently high, and scoring to the teams has been extremely difficult… From my point of view, the point of doing MEL is about the last part, about the “L” – Learning, it is more about pointing questions for all of us to review, what we have done, what it has or has not worked and what came out to surprise us.”
Prof. Ilan Katz said, “You all need to deal with challenging situation and your plans need to be revised, and some innovated solutions came out of there, and hopefully it will even sustain beyond the COVID-19… Besides, what I saw today was real enthusiasm for evaluation and real commitment to actually learning from evaluation. For me, it was the important part.”
The winning teams will be given a valuable opportunity to take part in an international conference to share best practices in the second half of this year. Additionally, to promote the MEL’s culture effectively at the organisational level, each participant will hold at least two rounds of sharing sessions regarding their MEL learning journey within their organisations.
About the Jockey Club MEL Institute Project
Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Department of Social Work of CUHK has developed a 3-year programme, Jockey Club MEL Institute Project, since 2019 to extend experience and knowledge of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) for programme management and evaluation to local NGOs. The project provides a 14-session certificate training course delivered by overseas and local experts, which covers 4 main areas including “Service Development and Monitoring”, “Resource and Planning Management”, “Media and Communications” and “Programme Evaluation and Impact Assessment”. Meanwhile, participants take part in a 4-month mentored practicum so as to gain practical knowledge and skills in programme evaluation by applying it to their work under the coaching of experienced mentors. Apart from face-to-face offline communication, an Online Knowledge Hub also serves as a primary channel to enhance participants’ learning experience. For more details, please visit https://jcmel.swk.cuhk.edu.hk.