Testimonials of our Impact
GAIN has worked with CMS since 2015 (until mid-2018) on our flagship programme, "Seeds of Prosperity" in India. CMS was part of the pilot and then scale-up of the programme as our research partner in two locations in India.The team brought deep insights from their assessments and evaluations for the global program which helped to strengthen our programme and improve the impact on our target population- the tea working community in India. The program received funding to be scaled up significantly. GAIN appreciated CMS very much for their dedication and excellent quality of work.
- Dr. Bärbel Weiligmann
Senior Advisor - Better nutrition. For farmers and workers
Arghyam partnered with Catalyst Management Services (CMS), who measured and evaluated the outcomes of the project. The survey has been designed quite elegantly; it’s a neat, tight set of questions focusing on usage. I was impressed with the way in which the FIs, young girls, were able to strike a rapport almost immediately with the respondents. At times when people didn’t understand the question, they were good at explaining the question to the respondent without leading them towards the answer. It’s a difficult yet important job really, going from house to house in the hot sun, asking the same questions over and over again, but they did it cheerfully and enthusiastically.
- Radhika Viswanathan
We wanted to write to thank you for being such wonderful hosts during our short stay in Delhi, but more importantly for putting on such an excellent event today. The attendance alone was an incredible feat, and the active and passionate engagement of literally dozens of individuals learning about CEI for the first time was inspiring. Suparna and Vijay found the perfect balance of guiding conversation while leaving most of the talking for our participants to do -- this is a fantastic precedent to set as we build demand-driven networks.
- Molly Jamieson Eberhardt
It was a great learning experience for me where I learnt in a Good work environment. The organization made sure we were comfortable and well cared for in terms of our stay, which made working easier. The flexibility of working from home is a great concept which the organization is having. The best part of our internship was our Reporting Officer who helped me understand the work, plan it properly and we worked well as sounding boards to bounce of ideas which gave us a lot of clarity when it came to the processes and analyses part of the project.
- Isha Dash
The multi-staged recruitment process was extensive in the sense that it gave CMS a good understanding of how I could contribute to their endeavors and fit in the organizational structure. As a potential employee, it also gave me a good overview of how methodical CMS is in going about its job and the rigor I would be expected off at work. The three interviews that I had seemed to focus on particular aspects of me as an individual and a professional which in effect allowed me to look back at myself and reflect on my strengths and weaknesses.
- Lucien Chan
CMS believes it exists to support partners reach their results – faster and better, moving up the evidence-to-results chain. And a key way is through a world class monitoring system that enables partners take the right decisions, on time.
From our 25 years of experience of designing and supporting monitoring system, we believe:
- Systems should be use-focused and owned by users
- Comprehensiveness is important; but for user, simplicity is key
- A good blend of quantitative and qualitative information
- Priorities will change, so system should evolve with needs
- Clarity and consensus on where information feeds into is critical
Some lessons learnt, which are sectoral relevant:
- Information from Monitoring systems generally feed into four areas – Planning, Accountability, Learning, Performance Management – PALP. It is important to be clear where, when and who is requiring this.
- Information is power. People who are in frontline of change should have this power in their hands and should not focused on providing it upwards to people with power.
- Effective leaders need good information; monitoring systems generally reflect quality of management and governance.
- Monitoring systems are liked when they are purveyors of good news; insulating the messenger from message is good governance.
- Monitoring systems is not only reports – it is combination of mechanisms like review meetings, field visits, stock taking exercises and other relevant approaches.
CMS has supported in building and maintaining over 50 systems which are from:
Diverse sectors – Livelihoods, Health, Education, WASH, Governance, Social and behaviour change, etc.
Institutional formats – Community organisations, NGOs, Government, United Nations, etc
Used in – Programmes, Projects, Organisations and Networks
Levels – Frontline workers, village, district/province, sub-national, national, regional and international
To help partners with differing budgets, capacities and time requirements, CMS offers a flexible engagement model, tailor made for achieving results for partners, including:
Process approach – CMS works with the pattern team in building the system and operationalising.
Expert approach – CMS provides advice, tools and capacity development.
Outsourced model – CMS carries out the Monitoring role for on behalf of partner; either on BOT or completely outsourced approach.
For this work, CMS brings to fore a range of knowledge assets for the partner including Frameworks, technology solutions (platform and app), tested monitoring tools, approaches, methodologies, Indicator banks, and sectoral theories of change.
What is unique about CMS is:
- Commitment to results – From design, implementation and adaptation.
- Knowledge assets and experience built on several decades of ‘what works’ and ‘what does not’
- A 360-degree perspective on development as our experience includes design, implementation, evaluation.
- Multi-disciplinary teams consisting of monitoring and subject matter experts.
- Integrated technology capabilities (including AI and ML)
Some key examples of our work in this area:
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for Avahan India AIDS Initiative Phase III across five high HIV-prevalence states in South India. We worked with 87 community organisations, reaching 1,36,000+ key population to design and implement technology driven MEAL systems for better data-based decision making.
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning System for the Poorest Areas Civil Society Program (PACS-I) across six states of India; designed, implemented and supported the entire system covering – inputs, activities, processes, outputs, outcomes and impact; for four years; covering over 300-odd civil society organisations in India. The assignment had field process monitoring, data analysis, programme evaluation and impact monitoring, development of reports, facilitating learning forums, and capacity building of community-based organisations, civil society institutions; The Project was implemented by Development Alternatives and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).
- Designing and Operationalising a Participatory Monitoring System for Eastern and Western India Rainfed Farming Projects, supported by DFID – India.
- Design of a monitoring, evaluation and learning framework and tool to support the implementation of an Institutional Network Strengthening Programme, with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region, for Transparency International (TI).
- Monitoring system for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Nigeria in supporting the National Drug Law Enforcement Authority (NDLEA), which is leading the National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP), in partnership with 37 Ministries/agencies. Support includes design, capacity building, ongoing process support and mentoring.