The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Network Learning Trip in Latin America was a three-day workshop for organizations in the Teach For All network’s Americas region to share strategies and innovations to improve data systems and impact evidence. The event was jointly organized by Enseña Chile and Colegios que Aprenden, providing an experiential learning opportunity to multiple partners in the region. Ten organizations from the Teach For All network attended the event and had the opportunity to learn from external experts about how to measure student outcomes and manage data systems. Enseña Chile alumna and teacher coach, Nishme Zafe, shared her reflections:
Participating in the MEL meeting in the Americas was a great experience for me as a teacher coach for Enseña Chile. The event provided a unique opportunity to share the tremendous value of using data to guide decision making in our work. I was also able to reaffirm Enseña Chile’s best practices and what we should keep doing, and identify areas where we can improve. This was possible thanks to the different spaces in which I could share ideas and experiences with other members of the network.
The event greatly exceeded my expectations. I thought I would learn how data was being used by other Latin American partners in the network, but I did not expect to be able to review and evaluate how we use data in Chile. Nor did I expect to achieve a better understanding of how Enseña Chile's experience can contribute to the growth of other network partners. I was also exposed to new ideas to improve our own practices and established a network of contacts with colleagues from other organizations, which I hope will facilitate future exchanges..
The event included many illuminating sessions, including a panel of education experts who presented their work in monitoring, evaluation, and learning, and a session on “Best Practices in Monitoring and Evaluation,” in which representatives of the network shared their experiences and pending challenges in the use of information and decision making. I also greatly appreciated the space we had to design an action plan inspired by what we learned during the event. These activities facilitated an exchange that was very enriching, both for Enseña Chile and for the other partner organizations, that allowed us to reflect on our progress and build strategies to improve the quality of our work.
I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the Americas MEL Network Learning Trip and I am very proud of the work all of us who are part of this network are doing to contribute to the goal of providing quality education for the students in our countries. Today I am even more convinced of the importance of our network and the profound value of using evidence when making strategic decisions, aligned with our different objectives.