Project skills demystified for Institute of Islamic Thought

15 August 2019
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Philip Dearden, Head of CIDT, was asked to lead a short workshop on ‘Project Design, Monitoring and Evaluation’ for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Washington DC. Following a needs assessment exercise visit to IIIT, the intensive workshop took place from 7- 8 August 2019.

The overall objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of IIIT to build a strong portfolio of programmes that maximise return on investment and enhance their developmental impact.

The workshop covered:

  • Rationale for results measurement and the ‘results chain’,
  • Linkages between Projects, Programmes and the Strategic objectives of IIIT,
  • Seven simple steps and seven key questions for Project and Programme Design,
  • Project and Programme Logical Frameworks and Theories of Change,
  • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to key areas of intervention of IIIT,
  • Monitoring, Reviews and Evaluation,
  • Improving the M&E frameworks of current or future interventions of IIIT,
  • Individual and Project Team Action Plans for future implementation.

During the workshop, four teams of staff developed a range of projects and programmes for future implementation. Ideas were shared, developed, critiqued and then the final proposed projects and programmes were presented.

Evaluation feedback on the workshop was very positive, with many participants reporting that they had fully engaged in the workshop process, learned a lot of practical and useful information and new skills. For some, the concepts surrounding project design, monitoring and evaluation had been demystified in a very practical and useful manner. Many participants reported increased confidence in now using a range of project design and management tools.

In the feedback on the programme, a range of very positive comments were made:

  • “This was the first time I’ve been exposed to this type of information, but I now feel I understand it pretty well”
  • “Thanks for the flexibility and attentiveness”
  • “The energy of the instructor was great”
  • “His knowledge of the subject and the content was really excellent”
  • “The analytical thinking process was really useful”
  • “The hands on approach was great”
  • “There was something to learn at all levels”
  • “There was a certain level of comfort – thanks for that”
  • “The group exercises made for great learning experience”
  • “It was a great team building exercise in general.”

Photos from the workshop

Below: Participants working together on their projects in a ‘hands on’ manner

Below: Participants receiving End of Course Certificates from Dr Ahmed Alwani (Vice President, IIIT) and full team photo