This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Watch and Ward: Livelihood and Monitoring Team as Tagum City’s Sentinel Towards Quality Income-Sourcing
City Government of Tagum
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Leadership, Integrity management, Financial Stewardship
As Tagum City ventures towards the pursuit of curbing poverty among its marginalized people and sailing through its livelihood agenda, the Livelihood Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Team, a unique watchdog group, was strategically organized to guarantee that the income-sourcing livelihood programs implemented by the Public Education and Employment Services Office (PEESO) under the Rellon administration, in coordination with its partnered stakeholders, are done so under quality operation.
Operating since July 2016, it committedly extended its service from financial literacy to leadership and management towards its beneficiaries thereby consistently producing a total net income increase of 60% for the past three years.
Background and Problem
Failed operations and suspended livelihood projects are some of the biggest concerns that the PEESO faced during the first year of implementation of livelihood programs. Although the LGU, through PEESO, sought to develop viable and sustainable poverty alleviation projects for the catered masses, these livelihood projects risked becoming a government’s wastage. The lack of regular tracking of project implementation and output of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) systematically became one of the reasons why beneficiaries were negligent in their responsibilities, exhibiting a lack of ownership for their doled out projects. In this reality, monitoring and evaluation are vital to determine potential problems and become a basis to modify the interventions needed in the program. In this way, both empowering and data-driven management and governance of the CSO will be instilled, which would yield a positive result and impact on the lives of each beneficiary.
Solution and Impact
Institutionalization of a livelihood monitoring and evaluation (M&E) team is one of the greatest visions of the Local Chief Executive (LCE) through PEESO, as it aims to ensure that each livelihood project is always on its right track of easing the degrading effects of poverty and exploitation. In July 2016, the Livelihood M&E team composed of 19 individuals, one of whom is the unit head, was created which monitored 32 projects among 27 CSOs since its inception.
The fresh start provides constant feedback on the extent to which the projects are achieving their goals. Formulation of interventions was made possible, along with the crafting of an annual action plan which serves as the association’s roadmap in carrying out their functions. As the team starts to work out in the improvement of the problem, a monitoring tool was crafted to measure the extent of development of CSOs in terms of its operations, internal governance and management and financial growth.
Various interventions like capability and enhancement activities, team building, and commitment sessions are used to address the identified felt-needs of each group. Since 2016, the revival of the suspended projects was made possible and increased return on investment is very evident due to a close weekly visitation and Exit and Clarificatory Conference (ECC). A rating and ranking method later was used by the team to encourage healthy competition among the group beneficiaries and later launched the Search for Top Five (5) Best CSOs. Due to the good impact brought by the Livelihood M&E team, nearby municipalities and cities are also institutionalizing its own monitoring team. Further, various National Agencies secure permission from the LCE to monitor their funded livelihood projects through the Livelihood M&E team. After years of formulation, the team continuously aims to acquire financial stability and sustainability among associations and enjoy the fruits of their concerted efforts.
In its fourth year of operation, the Livelihood M&E team has established appellation from the Department of Labor and Employment, Commission on Audit, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, and even from the LCE issuing the CMO Memo No. 028-s-2019.
Further strategies for the progression encompass the conduct of Administrative Research, reviewing the Livelihood Operational Guidelines and Procedures for further innovations, pinpoint qualified CSOs for Stock Cooperative conversion and be recognized by the Cooperative Development Authority, drafting an ordinance requiring all LGU offices to patronize the CSO’s products/services giving them priority over providing items for the LGU and other National Agencies.