EvalYouth Global Mentorship Program (EYGMP) 2021-2022: Reflections from Mentor and Mentee
Hello! Welcome to a two-part series reflecting on the EYGMP 2021-2022 Experience from both Mentee and Mentor perspectives. In the first part, we dive into Mentee and Mentor reasons for participation in the program. In the second part, we will highlight the collaborative work from the EYGMP experience.
Discovering the Program & Reason for Participation
Hi, my name is Olivia Melvin, and I am a Young & Emerging Evaluator (YEE) going into my second year of working at a university-based evaluation center in Oxford, Mississippi. After consulting in spaces that were directly and tangentially related to research and evaluation for about one year, I decided to apply for a project coordinator position at the Center for Research Evaluation (CERE). After several months of full-time evaluative work, I stumbled across the application for the EYGMP program. This find was a win for two reasons: (1) I wanted additional support in understanding the theoretical underpinnings of evaluation, as well as practical application in different contexts and (2) This was a perfect opportunity to expand my mentorship network by connecting with professionals with similar interests. My mind was made up, so I applied.
Hello, my name is Fabiola Berrocal, and I am a Monitoring, evaluation and learning professional. I have around 12 years of work experience in development projects and 8 years in M&E projects in UN Agencies and international organizations focused on climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable rural development. Currently, I am a Monitoring and Technical Manager at the Rainforest Alliance in a USAID Project. I am co-founder of EvalYouth Peru. In 2021, I decided to apply for the EYGMP as a Mentor. I was sure that it would be a great experience and opportunity to share my experience in evaluation and learn the experiences and new perspectives of a YEE.
The Application Process
Mentee Experience: The application process was very simple, consisting of CV submission and a series of essay questions listed below:
- Why do you want to participate?
- What are your mentoring needs?
- What characteristics are you seeking in a mentor?
- How will you use the skills acquired through the EYGMP program?
Mentor Experience: The call process incentivized the participation of evaluators and professionals passionate about MEL. When I decided to get involved in the EYGMP, I was asked the following questions:
- What is your main motivation to participate in the EYGMP?
- What is your experience in evaluation?
- What skills do you consider relevant for participating as a Mentor in the EYGMP?
The EYGMP Experience
Orientation was hosted in early November to acquaint Mentees and Mentors with the structure of the program. We were given the opportunity to connect with peers in a virtual space for the first time. Shortly after, all participants were assigned the names of their Mentees/Mentors and given access to the learning management system (LMS) where all assignments and resources were housed. Introductory Zoom meetings soon commenced, and weekly/biweekly meetings were scheduled between Mentor/Mentee pairs. In the LMS, Mentees and Mentors could connect with other pairs and discuss specific learnings and experiences.
Target learning topics ranged from soft- and hard-skill development to evaluation ecosystems and contextual factors to data-collection and analysis strategies. Each Mentee was expected to select a case study based on the sustainable development goal (SDG) that most interested them. The learning topics were then addressed through the lens of the selected case study. We used a MURAL board (mural.co) to document the discussion topics and resources that we covered during our meetings. Mentees were expected to complete several assignments throughout the course of the mentorship program (i.e., stakeholder mapping, problem tree mapping, logic model creation). These assignments directly related to the selected case studies, as well.
To learn more about the collaborative work we engaged in during the EYGMP experience, check out Part Two of this blog series launching soon.