Monitoring and Evaluation Leadership in Learning Course

Monitoring and Evaluation Leadership in Learning Course


Enrollment is $625 per registrant, including a $10 fee for 3.5 Continuing Education Units (CEU). Registrants not wishing to earn a CEU may opt-out during registration.

Course Description

Donors and funding agencies of international development programs are increasingly mandating the use of adaptive management approaches. This approach depends upon a robust monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan guided by leaders who can facilitate activities across cultures, stakeholder groups, and dynamic political and contextual environments. This eight-week course provides development professionals with the necessary tools to lead sophisticated program monitoring, evaluation, and learning (M&E) systems. The course is founded in an ethical understanding of development that empowers, enriches, and enables individuals and communities.

The course mimics real-world project activities beginning with developing a log-frame, results framework, or theory of change and ending with testing of data instruments in KoBo Toolbox for use in off-grid data collection. This practical application provides students with a set of skills to design, organize, operationalize, and utilize a robust M&E system that supports adaptive program management and learning.

Participants from past offerings are already using the skills and tools they developed during the course. Dr. Karen Duca, who enrolled while volunteering with Bambi Land Montessori School in Ghana, used the mobile data collection exercise to design a short survey for children. She used the survey to determine what students understood of other religions. This gave students a beginning to explore religions other than their own and to develop tolerance for different beliefs and traditions. Dr. Duca reflected on the assignment stating, “It really served my needs when I was doing educational outreach in southern Ghana. This was one of the most valuable aspects of the course for me.”

She was not alone in finding value of the applied approach taken by the course. Every student was given space where they could complete tasks that could be applied to their own programs and organizations.

Students will learn how to use M&E systems to foster attitudes of flexibility and discovery that challenge assumptions, are receptive to local guidance and context, and ensure locally relevant program results.

Why This Course?

Students will gain valuable experience designing, organizing, operationalizing, and utilizing an M&E system for program learning and reporting. Professional content is pulled from examples and experience gained by the instructor while also incorporating student experiences and knowledge. While focused on the development profession broadly, there is no sectoral focus to the course. Skills to be covered include:

  • Designing frameworks for management and performance reporting
  • Planning an evaluation, incorporating techniques specific to various sectors
  • Choosing and designing indicators
  • Planning for qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis
  • Operationalizing an M&E system
  • Using mobile data collection platforms
  • Communicating insights from data to challenge assumptions, guide program management choices, and report on program performance


Professional Advancement

The Monitoring and Evaluation Leadership in Learning Course is designed for development professionals eager to learn how M&E systems run “on the ground” and how they can be used to increase program effectiveness. An understanding of or experience with logic models or logical frameworks, results frameworks, and basic statistics (ability to calculate means, medians, maximums, and minimums from empirical data) are necessary for this course. Learning is facilitated through small group interactions designed to forge meaningful relationships that are expected to last beyond the eight-week course duration.

Instructor Biography


Kim Castelin is a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) specialist for the Division of Global Research and Engagement in the Office of International Programs at Washington State University (WSU). Most recently, she served as the Director for Monitoring & Evaluation on the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Program II, a $20M USAID-funded program that built the technical and teaching capacity of Afghanistan's Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to deliver effective and sustainable extension services to Afghan farmers. 

Ms. Castelin also has previous experience working with M&E systems in Tajikistan and Kenya on agricultural value chains and nutrition-focused, small-scale agriculture systems known as homestead gardens, respectively. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and is a member of the teaching evaluation thematic group within that organization. She is interested in researching how traditional systems for resource management interact with external management policies in conflict and post-conflict settings. Ms. Castelin holds a Masters in Applied Economics from the University of Idaho and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.