Students’ Perspectives on Postgraduate Diploma Training in Monitoring and Evaluation at Uganda Management Institute
Globally, training in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has been a key aspect for development work mainly in form of short-term capacity building training for development practitioners. Of recent, some universities and other institutions of higher education have developed short-term and long-term training programmes in M&E. The long-term training programmes have been developed up to the level of Master’s and PhD, illustrating professionalization of the M&E discipline. Uganda Management Institute (UMI) offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation that continues to attract a huge number of practitioners looking for skills and knowledge in M&E. Based on the experiential learning theory by Kolb & Fry (1975), researchers were interested in gaining insights into the diverse perspectives, experiences and challenges facing the postgraduate diploma in M&E students during their training programmes at the Uganda Management Institute. These insights would support the UMI management as well as other practitioners in M&E capacity building programmes with information to effectively design and deliver relevant and customer-focused training programmes. The researchers adopted a qualitative approach. Data was collected using focus group discussions. The collected data was then analysed using thematic analysis method. The findings indicate the passion for M&E and the need for M&E qualification as key motivators for many participants to join the training programme. The practical modules delivered, assessment modalities and flexible delivery modes were seen as positive experiences during the programme. The students, however, reported poor internet connection, limited facilities, and e-learning resources on M&E as key challenges. They generally appreciated the content and flexible delivery modalities of the programme and were passionate about the structured training.