Thought Leadership in MEAL: Amideast at gLocal Evaluation Week

On June 1–2, 2021, Amideast organized three events as part of the gLocal Evaluation Week, an annual event sponsored by the gLocal Evaluation Initiative, a partnership responding to the global demand for better monitoring and evaluation to enhance development effectiveness. The Amideast events reflected three distinct areas of work in the Amideast portfolio.
Amideast gLOCAL announcement featuring its five speakers

The first event reviewed the effectiveness of virtual learning in English language instruction, based on Amideast’s experience of providing synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid-model classes for young and adult learners in 11 MENA countries—a timely topic given the urgent shift to e-learning models in response to the COVID pandemic. The presenters—Amideast Regional Director of English Language Programs Helena Simas and Regional Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL), Dr. Amal Nasralla—shared the preliminary findings of a pilot study of the methods and tools Amideast employed to monitor and evaluate its virtual programming. They also offered their recommendations for measuring the effectiveness of different types of online courses and programs. 

The second event, a panel discussion moderated by Amideast Vice President for Programs Leslie Nucho, presented perspectives on why building organizational MEAL capabilities is important. The two panelists, Amideast Country Director for Tunisia and Libya Operations Jennifer Smith and Dr. Nasralla, shared lessons the organization has learned from its own experience of building an institutional MEAL mindset. The session explored ways to inculcate organizational support for MEAL practices, taking into account the practical implications of building MEAL capacity, and the challenges and opportunities that can influence the process. 

In the third event, Dr. Nasralla interviewed Quincy Dermody, Chief of Party of the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI) Public University Scholarship Program, and Dina Mohsen, the program’s Operation and Disability Program Manager. The interview explored the process of designing a sustainability plan and evaluating its effectiveness based on their experience of establishing disability service centers at five public universities in Egypt through the HEI Program, which is funded by USAID, supported by the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education, and implemented by Amideast. 

To view recordings of the sessions, please follow these links: