Previous research has shown that sport-for-employability organisations adopt a wide variety of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches of participants’ progress, ranging from none to systematic formative evaluation of participants’ progress via the use of workbooks and validated qualifications. Others measure so-called hard outcomes by recording the number of programme graduates who are either employed or enter further education. However, a genuine need was identified by most of these organisations for a more systematic approach to the collection of information about the effectiveness of programmes in terms of participants’ personal development.
In order to face this need, the Erasmus+ project ‘Monitoring and Evaluation Manual for Sport-for-Employability Programmes (MONITOR)’ came into existence. The MONITOR project started in January 2019 and will take two years to complete. By the end of 2020, the cooperation will result in a user-friendly manual that will help sports-based organisations increase the level of employability of the young people they work with.
Currently, great progress has been made with regard to this aim. After a review of relevant M&E measures, the project coordinator (VUB) visited the sport-for-employability partner organisations. Apart from assisting the organisations with developing their programme theory, the workshops explored how each of the sport-for-employability partners organises their M&E. Based on these insights, a draft manual – that includes an introduction to programme theory development and M&E, tools for data collection, specific Excel spreadsheets for data analysis and information regarding interpretation of results – is currently being produced. Since the goal is to produce a user-friendly manual, the current version of the manual will be extensively tested and commented. As a next step, the manual will be sent to the sport-for-employability partner organisations. This enables them to subsequently reflect and comment on the current version (of the manual). We are looking forward to the next stage of this project.