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Just Play strives for improvement

Six project managers representing Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu joined the OFC Social Responsibility Department for a week of intensive training, focusing on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).
The objective of the meeting was to increase the efficiency of the programme by upskilling the most capable team members to further improve the effectiveness of Just Play in their countries. The workshop attendees were trained to have a broader perspective of the programme and understand how to measure the impact of the programme through M&E tools.
OFC Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator Supriya Kulkarni-Padhye led the training through interactive exercises, helping the participants develop an understanding for M&E tools, and how they can be used to improve the programme.
“As our programme continues to grow, it is important that every person in the Just Play team understands where we started and where we want to go in terms of programme outcomes.
“Being able to evaluate the effectiveness of the various aspects of the programme we are then able to refine our approach and be more direct in our delivery.
“It is very much a participatory process and I believe everyone should be on board from volunteers on the ground, to our donors and stakeholders as we are all committed to making Just Play as effective as possible.”
As a group the project managers developed the Just Play Logic Model which will serve as a reference that will help with understanding the relevance and importance of M&E to their Just Play teams.
While Tonga’s Palu Uhatahi hasn’t been in the role as long as some of her colleagues she has quickly adapted to the position and has made some excellent in roads with her implementation and running of the Just Play Programme.
“From the training in Auckland I learnt that M&E is not only for monitoring and reporting, it is a tool we can use to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of Just Play in our country,” she says.
“The workshop has equipped us with the right tools to take Just Play to the next level with the help of the Logic Model.
“Knowing what the reach of the programme is and how well the messages we are promoting are being adopted and applied in the everyday lives of our Just Play participants is important.
“If we have some idea of how the messages are being received we can adapt and make changes to our delivery to keep improving constantly.”
With a strong understanding of how to move Just Play forward in 2016 Uhatahi says she is confident going back to Tonga.
“Our task now is to implement and utilise these new tools according to our local context.”
OFC Head of Social Responsibility and International Relations Franck Castillo believes the training will be very beneficial for the expanding programme as efficiency becomes more important.
“With Just Play constantly growing and expanding its content it is incredibly important for the Just Play Project Managers to be engaging in personal development and upskilling as well,” Castillo says.
“During this week’s workshop we decided to focus on those who were ready and capable of acquiring new skills and it was an added bonus that the six we selected also happened to be women.
“It is a key objective of Just Play to promote gender equality and empower women, so when we have leaders in the programme proving that females are more than capable of striving in the workplace and acquiring skills to further their careers, it allows us to lead by example.”
The Just Play team was joined by New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development Officer Anabel Lusk, who was able to gain insight into how each country adapts and operates the programme and provide feedback on the work they have done.
Just Play is a sport for development programme supported by Australian Aid, New Zealand Aid, FFA, the UEFA Foundation for Children and UNICEF.


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