How to build your expertise as a Consultant in Monitoring and Evaluation in 11 Steps?

Build your expertise ad a monitoring and evaluation consultant
Have you ever dreamed of becoming an M&E consultant?

It’s a lucrative field and one that offers a lot of potential. But what exactly does an M&E consultant do, and how do you go about becoming one? In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about making a successful career in M&E consulting.

Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Get an undergraduate degree
  • Step 2: Find your first job
  • Step 3: Craft a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant Resume
  • Step 4: Do your Reading
  • Step 5: Volunteer to assist experienced evaluators 
  • Step 6: Join monitoring and evaluation networks and associations
  • Step 7: Track your progress
  • Step 8: Create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience in monitoring and evaluation
  • Step 9: Create a professional website
  • Step 10: Tailor your resume to specific consultancy postings
  • Step 11: Apply, not focus on the consultancy title

Introduction #

If you’re interested in becoming a monitoring and evaluation consultant, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. You’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as business, economics, or sociology. Once you have the educational requirements, you’ll need to gain experience in the field of management. This could include internships, volunteer work, or working in a managerial role. 

Finding clients as monitoring and evaluation consultant is an important step in building a successful business. The first step is to create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience. You should also create a website that includes a professional profile, contact information, and a portfolio of your work. Networking is also a great way to find clients. Attend local events, join professional groups, and use social media to find potential clients. Additionally, create a referral program to encourage existing clients to recommend your services to others. Finally, use online directories and freelancing websites to advertise yourself and your services.

Young professionals who wish to become “monitoring and evaluation consultant” need to try out the following steps.

Step 1: Get an undergraduate degree #

Getting an undergraduate degree in monitoring and evaluation is a great way to get started in the field. The general field of studies such as economics, statistics, or development practice can also be great to carve out your career as an M&E consultant. A degree in monitoring and evaluation provides the skills and knowledge needed to effectively monitor and evaluate programs and initiatives. With this degree, you will gain the ability to analyze data, understand complex systems, and identify areas of improvement. You will also learn how to create and implement strategies to ensure that programs are meeting their objectives. Furthermore, you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively communicate results and make recommendations to stakeholders. An undergraduate degree in monitoring and evaluation is an important step to becoming a successful professional in the field.

Related: Monitoring and Evaluation Universities. You can read also: Career Paths in Monitoring and Evaluation.

Step 2: Find your first job #

Having finished your studies, it’s time to take the next step in your career and start working! Finding your first job in Monitoring and Evaluation can be a daunting task. It is important to be aware of the different roles and responsibilities that come with this type of work. When looking for a first job in Monitoring and Evaluation, it is important to have a good understanding of both monitoring and evaluation processes. Additionally, having strong research and writing skills, as well as knowledge of data analysis tools, can be beneficial.

Don’t decide to take the first job you can find, unless you know it is the right thing for you. Follow your passion, work to your strengths, and don’t be afraid to take on a job that aims to solve a problem that keeps you up at night. You’ll surely do your best work if you take on a position that aims to solve a problem that keeps you up at night.

Related: How To Best Prepare For Interview With Recruiters In 7 Steps.

Step 3: Craft a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant Resume #

If you are looking for a Monitoring And Evaluation Consultancy mandate, then there are plenty of opportunities out there for you, but they won’t just be handed to you. In order to stand out from the competition and get the mandate, you need to choose the best resume template and craft a Monitoring And Evaluation Consultant resume that will pique the eye of hiring managers, and EvalCommunity has come to your rescue.

Choosing the right resume template is an important first step in presenting yourself to potential employers. Different templates required by the hiring organization can make your resume look more professional and highlight your qualifications. It is important to select the template that is most appropriate for the tender you are applying for. The standard format is usually the best option as it is widely accepted and understood by employers. It allows you to focus on the content of your resume, rather than the formatting. Additionally, the standard format makes it easier for employers to quickly scan and compare your qualifications with other competitors. Taking the time to select the right resume template can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting the mandate you want.

Step 4: Do your Reading #

Develop reading habits in field-relevant areas. Find out as much as you can about development projects and all the nittygritties of the particular subject. As you progress through your career, be sure to explore the literature around M&E and develop as rich an understanding of your interest area as possible. If it is health programmes that interest you, make sure you understand different approaches to evaluating health programmes, from epidemiological to behavioral approaches. 

It is early literacy, aiming to read up about how approaches to early literacy have changed over the years, to current, prevailing schools of thought, and how they assume change takes place. If your passion is the environment, read voraciously about every best- and worst-case scenario, about global benchmarks and targets. It’s also a great idea to educate yourself broadly on the literature around M&E and its Impact. 

From technical M&E approaches, and research methods, to crafting impact investment funds and deal structuring – all this knowledge will stand you in good stead, and there is so much you won’t get in a standard undergraduate degree in development practice!

You should also educate yourself on the latest industry trends to establish yourself as an authoritative figure in the M&E consulting space. Evaluation is an important aspect of this process, as it helps you understand how you can differentiate yourself from other consultants and provide value. Taking the time to learn about the current landscape and any emerging trends is essential for success in this field.

Related: Monitoring and Evaluation Process

Step 5: Volunteer to assist experienced evaluators  #

Recruiters often insist that entry-level applicants for Monitoring and Evaluation positions have at least 2-3 years of direct experience in the field before they are allowed to apply for the position. In most cases, young professionals who want to start a career in the field face this problem.

In spite of this, the chances of getting a monitoring and evaluation job are low. if most employers don’t hire you. This makes it difficult for young professionals to break into the monitoring and evaluation M&E field. 

If young professional finds themselves in the same situation, it is probably the most viable option to volunteer for assistance with an evaluator who is more experienced than you.

Volunteering to assist experienced evaluators in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a great way to gain valuable experience and contribute to the development of an organization. M&E is a process that helps organizations track their progress and measure the impact of their projects. As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to work with experienced evaluators to help design and implement the M&E system. You will learn about the different aspects of the M&E process, from data collection to analysis. You will also gain hands-on experience in conducting evaluations and collecting data. By volunteering, you will gain valuable skills and knowledge that will help you in your career and make a positive contribution to the organization.

Young professionals can also apply for internships, which are opportunities that many organizations offer to young professionals. Many organizations offer both volunteer and internship opportunities for young professionals. 

Related: How to get an internship in Monitoring and Evaluation

Step 6: Join monitoring and evaluation networks and associations #

Joining monitoring and evaluation networks and associations, both local and international, can be a great way to find jobs and stay informed about the latest developments in the field. All serious M&E professionals need to be part of an evaluation network. These networks provide access to resources, such as research, best practices, and training, as well as opportunities to network with other evaluators and share ideas.

Networking is a great way to find potential clients, whether that be in person or online. As an M&E Consultant, it is important to establish an online presence to get your name out there. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be used to join groups related to Evaluation and connect with other Evaluation professionals. It is also beneficial to attend conferences and network with the right people in order to create strong relationships and make your services more visible.

Additionally, by joining these networks, one can benefit from mentorship, professional development, and support from other evaluators and practitioners. These networks and associations also provide a platform for members to collaborate on projects and share knowledge. By joining these networks, one can stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the field and gain valuable insights into the evaluation process.

Step 7: Track your progress #

You will be looking to build your brand as you build your consultancy, so you’ll need to make sure you’re doing it effectively.  As you embark upon your journey of becoming an independent individual after leaving employment, this may be the biggest hurdle you encounter.  When it comes to tracking your progress, it is important to keep a record of all your efforts, your learnings, and your reflections over the years. These are crucial to have when the day comes.  It is important to think of your work in this way – as a portfolio of your work – so you can collect feedback from stakeholders and find your authentic voice as a result.

Step 8: Create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience in monitoring and evaluation #

Creating a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience in monitoring and evaluation is an important step in career development. Start by gathering all of the relevant documents and materials that demonstrate your expertise in this field, such as reports, presentations, and publications. You can also include any certifications or awards you have earned. Once you have compiled your materials, organize them into a professional portfolio that reflects your experience and skills. Make sure to include a brief description of each item, as well as a summary of your overall experience. Finally, be sure to keep your portfolio up-to-date as your skills and experience evolve. By taking the time to create a portfolio that showcases your skills and experience in monitoring and evaluation, you will be able to demonstrate your qualifications and experience.

Step 9: Create a professional website #

Creating a professional website and leveraging social media can also help to market your services and attract new customers as an M&E Consultant. By utilizing online tools, you can create a more consistent message about who you are, what services you offer, and how customers can benefit from your expertise. Additionally, using social media can expand your reach and help increase your network of potential customers. With the right combination of website design, content creation, and social media management, you can ensure your business is well-positioned to attract new customers and grow your success as an M&E Consultant.

Step 10: Tailor your resume to specific consultancy postings #

Using a resume scanner is an excellent way to tailor your resume to specific consultancy postings. A resume scanner allows you to quickly and easily identify the keywords and phrases that employers are looking for in a resume. By inputting the job posting into the resume scanner, it will quickly scan your resume for the relevant words and phrases and highlight them for you. This makes it easy to tailor your resume to the specific requirements of the job posting. Additionally, the resume scanner can help you to identify any areas where your resume may be lacking, enabling you to make the necessary changes to ensure that your resume stands out from the competition. With the help of a resume scanner, you can tailor your resume to the specific job posting and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Also Read: How To Write a Monitoring And Evaluation Resume Summary

Step 11: Apply, not focus on the consultancy title #

The truth is that employers don’t always find the ideal or perfect candidate for any particular job position. On the contrary, they are often left with a pool of candidates from which to choose. 

We will assume that you have formal training in monitoring and evaluation (professional development courses and/or degree programs) as well as job experience gained through volunteering or mentorship. As a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist, you are confident that you have the ability to carry out the functions of a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist. However, in response to a job vacancy for an entry-level position, it is stated that you should have more than five years of experience as a “Monitoring and Evaluation Manager” in the past. 

In your application, you should highlight the relevant skill sets you have acquired as a result of your previous experience as an analyst on many studies (job experience, volunteering, or mentorship), as well as your training in participatory methodologies along with your competence in statistics as a candidate who has not worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager. This will help you differentiate yourself from other applicants who lack direct experience in Monitoring and Evaluation.

As a matter of fact, a professional with more than five years of experience in Monitoring and Evaluation is unlikely to apply for an entry-level position paying a certain salary, because they are well qualified. The playing field will be leveled and you will likely be competing against people with the same amount (or absence of) experience as yourself. Don’t be afraid to take the challenge!

Wrapping up #

In essence, to build your expertise in Monitoring and Evaluation, it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. You should also seek out and attend any relevant training courses or workshops. Additionally, gaining relevant experience through volunteering or internships is a great way to increase your knowledge base and establish connections with other professionals in the field. Finally, actively engaging with clients and interacting with professionals in the Monitoring & Evaluation field will help you form a well-rounded understanding of how to become an effective consultant.

3 thoughts on “How to build your expertise as a Consultant in Monitoring and Evaluation in 11 Steps?

  1. Avatar
    D Brown on Reply

    I must admit that I am rather puzzled by the oversimplification of steps 1-3 and what is omitted. I have been working as an independent consultant since 2016. However, that was preceded by 10 years as a development practitioner (agriculture and community development work in partnership with the church in rural DRCongo), a graduate degree, and then 10 years further experience in a senior role in my sector with a large humanitarian and development INGO. Were it not for that prior experience, I would not feel qualified to work as a consultant — nor should I be. The role of a consultant to me implies a certain level of progressively-gained demonstrable experience working in the field before one hangs out one’s shingle. This seems to me to be missing from this narrative — or am I missing something?

  2. Avatar
    Audrey Ahwan on Reply

    I found this article extremely helpful and as 1 year old consultant myself, I can see how the principles and steps in this article could easily apply to anyone who wants to set up a consultancy that caters to the development community.

  3. Avatar
    GILBERT JOSEPH KIRACHO on Reply

    This is very good guidance. Thank you.

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