Evaluation capacity building, monitoring and evaluation activities, organizational change and result utilization in non-profit organizations in Meru counties of Kenya
This study aimed at establishing the influence of Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) activities on M&E result utilization and the moderating role of M&E practice on the relationship between ECB activities and M&E result utilization. It also sought to determine the mediating influence of Organizational Evaluational Change (OEC) on relationship between ECB and M&E practice. This was done at a time when there is an increasing demand of credible and usable information through M&E processes throughout the world. ECB activities considered were; professional development, resource allocation, M&E support structures, and activities that help build evaluational environment. A review of literature was done and it was established that although there are numerous studies on the role of ECB in promoting M&E process but there are few empirical studies conducted showing the relationship between ECB activities and M&E results utilization. Hypotheses were formulated to help test the relationship between ECB activities and M&E results utilization. The study was guided by pragmatism paradigm. A descriptive survey design was used in the study. Using stratified random sampling the study obtained a sample of 218 from a population of 504. A structured questionnaire with Likert-type interval scale anchored on a five-point scale was used to collect primary data. An interview guide and document review techniques were used to triangulate the results. Tess for statistical assumptions showed that normality was not perfect but reflected a near normal distribution with linearity of the variables confirmed. The tests also confirmed that the variables had no multicollinearity. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation was used to test the direction and relationships between the variables and this showed that all ECB variables had influence on M&E result utilization. Regressions analysis indicated that the strengths of these relationships were significant at .05 significant level and using F-tests, the hypothesis of the study were tested it was established that ECB activities of professional development, resource allocation, M&E support structure and activities that help create evaluational environment separately and jointly have influence on M&E result utilization. It was also established that M&E activities have a moderating role on the relationship between ECB activities and M&E results utilization. However, study established that the influence of ECB activities on M&E result utilization by employees is not necessarily mediated by organizational evaluation change. The study recommends that organizations should invest in ECB activities in a more systematic way to build capacity in M&E in an effort to improve M&E result utilization. Project organizations should also pay attention to evaluational needs of its employees so that they could plan a comprehensive evaluational capacity building plan. Project employees should also be sensitized to change their view of M&E as an accountability tool and embrace the right evaluational philosophies so as not to lose M&E aspect of knowledge generation. There is need to carry out a study to establish factors that have influenced a high level of M&E results utilization in the counties of Meru and Tharaka Nithi. The study also recommend establishment of a ECB model that would be used in a simple way to build M&E capacities in a systematic manner in the region.