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This article is taken from the December 2000 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Designing a computer-based logframe-derived monitoring system for the Labour Market Skills Development Programme

S&T Senior partner David Everatt has been helping the massive Labour Market Skills Development Programme (LMSDP) - the largest EU technical grant of its type in the world - design and implement a monitoring system. He describes progress thus far.

Background

The LMSDP is a massive undertaking by the Chief Directorate: Skills Development and Employment Services in the Department of Labour. The overall strategy - reflected in the Skills Development Act and Skills Levy Act - aims to enhance skills among workers and the unemployed through a massive overhaul of the skills development process in South Africa.

The programme is divided into 12 projects within the Chief Directorate, 6 of which are funded by the EU and have European counterparts for each project. Others are supported by GTZ, Danida and other donors.

A year ago S&Tís David Everatt and Matthew Smith helped facilitate the Inception Workshop of the LMSDP. Since then, Matthew has been heavily involved in the provincial activities of the programme (see elsewhere in this edition). David meanwhile has been designing a computerised monitoring system for the LMSDP.

From logframe to computerised system

The system began with David and UK consultant Mike Felton finalising project logframes. These had to go through a series of revisions to ensure that they were either (a) not too short by focusing on Results and Key Activities, but also (b) not too long once projects had developed their own milestones and activity schedules.

Thereafter, David designed the system, which will allow monthly reports from all projects to be logged onto the data capture sheet (pictured). Projects also complete Exception Reports where activities have been cancelled or amended; a narrative report that obliges them to analyse the impact of their progress on other LMSDP components; and, finally, includes a planning component where projects have to plan the next month of activities - and (in the following month) report against their plans. Within days of the data being loaded, the system will produce reports that analyse progress by project; by cross-cutting area; across the programme as a whole; or within any set of OVIs or activities you select. Reports may be narrative, statistical or graphic (pictured).

This is one of the most advanced monitoring systems designed for a government programme, and marks a major step forward in harmonising the demands of technology, logframe users and public servants in providing a user-friendly, fast turn-around and responsive system.

The system is currently being piloted and debugged, and will be fully implemented from January 2001.

 

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