Participants from the OWWA-NRCO pose for a class photo with DAP-CFG-PRO Director Gilbert Lumantao (Second row; fifth from right) using their Tulong PUSO gesture.

The Development Academy of the Philippines, through its Center for Governance-Policy Research Office, conducted a three-day training on monitoring and evaluation for personnel of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-National Center for Reintegration of OFWs (OWWA-NRCO).

The course aimed to equip the OWWA-NRCO participants with the necessary basic and essential skills and knowledge on monitoring and evaluation. The training was designed to primarily serve as a guide in assessing their key livelihood program for OFWs: the Tulong PUSO Program. The program provides a one-time financial grant on business proposals of registered OFW groups to help them mitigate the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Top-Bottom, L-R) Peter Dan Baon, Jesse T. David, Dr. Lara Paul A. Ebal; Dr. Jalton G. Taguibao, Laine Velasco, Dir. Gilbert E. Lumantao

The resource persons, who are experts in the academe and M&E practitioners, helped orient the participants with the different stages and tools in monitoring and evaluation.

Jesse T. David, M&E staff of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), started the discussion by highlighting the importance of M&E in the public sector. He situated the office’s mandate in helping OFWs within the AmBisyon Natin 2040 and demonstrated how livelihood projects, such as the Tulong PUSO program, can be monitored and evaluated using the National Evaluation Policy Framework.

Peter Dan Baon, program manager of the DAP Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity, lectured on the basic principles of M&E and helped the participants draw up a logical framework for their program.

Dr. Lara Paul A. Ebal, Assistant Professor from the UP Los Banos Institute of Statistics, and Dr. Jalton G. Taguibao, Associate Professor from the UP Diliman Department of Political Science, jointly handled the discussion on data analysis methods and data management.

Adelina Velasco, team leader from Save the Children Philippines and Australia, briefed the participants on how to effectively report M&E findings. Lastly, DAP PRO Director Gilbert Lumantao wrapped up the course with a discussion on implementing and sustaining M&E and a workshop on developing an M&E plan.

As a culminating activity for the course, the OWWA-NRCO personnel presented their Tulong PUSO M&E plan to Director Lumantao and DAP Project Officer Eliza Salud Galang. The panelists critiqued the M&E plans and lauded the participants for completing the training.

In his closing remarks, Dir. Lumantao emphasized that the implementers will only know the extent of the program’s effectiveness upon conducting M&E. He expressed his hope that the three-day training on the subject, particularly the workshops, will be able to guide the office in conducting M&E for Tulong PUSO and their other programs.

OWWA-NRCO Executive Director Dindi M. Tan addressed the participant-learners and reminded them that “at the end of the day, it’s how you apply the concepts into the actual [Tulong PUSO] implementation that matters most.” During the closing program, representatives from the delegation echoed the message and shared their appreciation for the course. They stated that the workshops and lectures gave them a better understanding of how to effectively monitor and evaluate the Tulong PUSO program in the coming year.

The training was conducted on 23-25 November 2022 in Tagaytay City and was attended by some 20 program implementers from OWWA-NRCO’s central and regional offices.