To respond to the data needs of our stakeholders and to maximize the use of information technology for efficiency and productivity, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) conducted its First Virtual Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Learning Session on 10 June 2020 from 10 AM until 12:30 PM with 18 participants from PNVSCA management and staff. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Ilocos Region or NRO 1, being one of the pioneers in utilizing technology in M&E, was tapped to share their experiences and best practices in implementing and enhancing the Electronic Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (eRPMES).

PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe said in his opening remarks that the learning session is part of the Agency’s effort to adapt its M&E system to the “new normal”. He expressed hope that M&E collaboration between and among the PNVSCA and the NEDA Regional Offices would be strengthened given the strategic role of the NROs as lead in M&E of development projects at the sub-national level. He also suggested the mainstreaming of volunteerism in the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System.

The resource persons from NRO 1 provided a comprehensive orientation on the eRPMES starting with the topic “Online Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (eRPMES): Leveraging Technology in M&E” which was delivered by Ms. Ma. Veronica A. Eslao, NRO 1 Senior Economic Development Specialist (SEDS). Ms. Eslao emphasized the significance of technology as a tool in improving M&E process as it helps reduce cost, increases data accuracy, provides richer data, has greater outreach and provides better insights. She also discussed the benefits and key features of the eRPMES, provided a quick tour on the system, and briefly presented the significant features of the upcoming third version of the system called the eRPMES-Ter.

NRO 1 also shared one of its best practices in M&E which is the recognition of deserving government entities in supporting the objectives of the RPMES and the region’s development thrusts thru the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC)-RPMES Search Awards. In her presentation, SEDS Mary Ann S. Virtudes said that the RPMC-RPMES gives the following awards: Most Outstanding Project Monitors (MOPM), Best Project Implementer (BPI) and Most GAD-Responsive Project. She added that this recognition mechanism supports the achievement of the eRPMES’ effectiveness and sustainability.

NRO 1 capped the sharing on eRPMES with a presentation by Ms. Sarah Marie Michelle P. Villamil, Economic Development Specialist II, on the Project Monitors and Evaluators Association (PMEA) of Region 1, Inc. The PMEA is a non-stock and non-profit association composed of project monitors and evaluators in the public sector, specifically users of the eRPMES in Region 1. It promotes better interaction among the members in the continued and enhanced operation of the eRPMES and other monitoring activities, and in enhancing the M&E capacity of its members.

PNVSCA concluded the learning session by expressing its sincere gratitude to NRO 1 thru virtual awarding of certificates of appreciation to NRO 1 Regional Director Nestor G. Rillon and to the three (3) resource persons from the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division.

NRO 1 resource persons and PNVSCA management and staff after the learning session

(Written By: Fely Baday) The author is currently a Supervising Volunteer Service Officer at the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

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