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Why should programmes working with men and boys monitor and evaluate their work?

Last edited: October 30, 2010

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  • To assess programme’s effectiveness and increase body of knowledge Partnering with boys and men to prevent violence against women is a relatively new area of work, hence the importance of increasing the body of knowledge regarding which interventions are most effective.
  • To ensure that no unexpected harm will result from the programme Monitoring and evaluation can work to ensure that programmes do not cause unexpected harm and do not place victims at further risk. This is particularly important in the case of programmes for batterers because such work can pose higher risks than primary prevention programmes. Women, for instance, may base their decision to stay with an aggressor on whether he participates in such groups. Judges may choose to send men to such programmes rather than jail. Consequently, the evaluation of batterers’ programmes has often been held to more rigorous standards of evaluation than other programmes for men and boys.

How can evaluating a programme help?

Evaluation can help:

  • Identify community needs
  • Improve the programme
  • Make a difference in the community by: involving them in the design of the program and of its evaluation; determining how best to approach violence within a particular context; assessing any unexpected negative outcomes of the initiative, amongst others. Discern the best use of resources (staff and financial)
  • Compare goals to the outcomes, and if the logic of how those results will be achieved is sound (activities should be linked to outputs, outcomes, goals)
  • Adapt the programme as needs and communities change
  • Understand what is working in the programme and what is not working
  • Meet reporting requirements to funding agencies
  • Demonstrate the utility of the programme model for others who wish to do similar work
  • Provide compelling evidence for policy makers and donors
  • Be true to the mission and accountable to those persons the programme seeks to help (Valle et al., 2007)
  • Uncover good practices and lessons learned that can be shared with the wider community of practitioners to improve their work