A guest post from Naresh Giangrande on an exciting new research opportunity:
I recently had an email exchange with Katherine from Transition Montmorency, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. She wants to be part of the ‘Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Communities’ (MESC) project we are running. I asked her what had happened in Monty over the last year, and she and others took some time to just list what they had done. She came back with a surprisingly long list – it surprised even her. This is typical of my experience with Transition groups, and my own experience. We just don’t give ourselves time to look back and see what we have done.
If we don’t look back then don’t celebrate our achievements, it can lead to discouragement and burn out. We also fail to learn and we can then can’t build an evidence base; two of The 5 factors that will enable Transition to scale up.
What are you really achieving? How do you know? Maybe you are having more of an effect than you think? Would you like to trial a range of resources that will enable your group to self-monitor and evaluate your activities?
The answers to all of these questions can be found by participating in a unique and valuable new project to discover ways to evaluate your work. ‘Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Communities’ (MESC) is a 12-month Knowledge Exchange project running from 1st December 2013 until 30th November 2014, and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. MESC brings together researchers from the University of Oxford, members of UK low carbon community groups, Transition Network, and Low Carbon Communities Network, to co-produce and trial monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools.
We are now inviting up to 25 UK-based Transition Initiatives, local energy groups, and low carbon community groups to trial selected monitoring and evaluation resources and tools over a six month period in 2014, with support from the project team. This means you will get both hands on support and also the financial support needed to participate in this project.