Susan Farrell

Performance Monitoring & Evaluation Consulting


Detail of NPO Consulting Assignments


1    Design of Performance Monitoring Systems

A number of organisations have requested assistance with designing an M&E system in order to improve their own practice, as well as to enhance their accountability to their stakeholders.  The scope of work usually includes clarification of programme goals and objectives by developing a Logic Model, review of programme plans and then development of a performance monitoring plan (M&E Framework) with appropriate performance measures (indicators) and data collection tools.  In order to ensure transfer of skills, as well as optimum participation, the work is done collaboratively, using facilitated workshops.  Clients who have been assisted in this way include:

  • CTRC (Cape Town      Refugee Centre) -, serving refugees, based in Wynberg;
  • True North -, trains & equips Early Childhood Development Centres in Vrygrond;
  • Sikhula Sonke –, improving early childhood development in Khayelitsha;
  • New World Foundation -, community development in Lavender Hill;
  • Connect Network –, network of 115 organisations supporting women and children at risk, based in Somerset West;
  • CASE (Community Action towards a Safer Environment) –, community development based on a psychological model of understanding trauma and violence, working in Hannover Park;
  • Ikhaya le Themba -, runs after-school care programs for primary school children of Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in HoutBay;
  • Common Good Foundation  


2    Evaluations

Susan most recently conducted a desk-based review of the tools and processes used to monitor outcomes by SALT, a coalition of 6 South African NGOs backed by a consortium of Dutch donors.  The report had a strong focus on capacity building and learning for the NGOs.


Susan joined two consultants from M&ESURE Research and Evaluation, contracted to administer a survey on the levels of consumer rights awareness in the province, on behalf of the Office of the Consumer Protector (OCP),,  of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development & Tourism.  The 2012 survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews with 2559 respondents with the use of electronic questionnaires.  The data that was collected was analysed and a report delivered to the OCP.


Susan conducted an evaluation of the medium-term outcomes of a Worker Readiness training programme provided by Living Way,, as part of the requirement for her M&E qualification.  Living Way wanted to follow-up past students of the WorkLife course.  They wanted to know if the course had been effective in assisting students to find work.  This would enable the organisation to reflect on the programme’s effectiveness, so as to identify areas for improvement for management, as well as to be accountable to supporters.  Although various methods were used to collect data, the focus was on conducting semi-structured interviews with past students and analysing this qualitative data.


3    Training

Susan provides training in the following areas:

a)     Design, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)

Susan has developed and delivers a training course aimed at NPOs, introducing the basics of Programme Design, Planning, and Monitoring and Evaluation in a practical and accessible way.  The following clients have been trained:

  • Connect Network –, network of 115 organisations supporting women and children at risk, based in Somerset West;
  • ALICT (African Leadership Institute for Community Transformation) –, trains Christian community leaders;
  • The Warehouse -, supports churches in their response to poverty and injustice, based in Ottery;
  • MCDC (through GOLD Consulting) -, coalition of small community-based organisations in North-West Province.


b)    Project Management

Susan has developed and conducted a training workshop “Project Management Fundamentals” which is designed to introduce essential project management disciplines and practice in a NPO context.


c)     Finance for NPOs

Connect Network offers a number of training workshops in support of its Quality Improvement System.  Susan was asked to present the following topics for their Financial Accountability Workshop:  Budgeting for NPOs, and Restricted and Non-restricted Funding.


4    Project Management

Susan has taken several short-term assignments to manage projects on behalf of NPOs, as well as various project management consultations on issues such as assisting organisations to rework plans for strategic projects in crisis, and facilitating workshops to identify and proactively manage project risks.

A client required a Project Manager to manage the projects in their Research and Development Division for a 6-mth period, following the resignation of the RD Manager.  Susan was able to offer strategic advice regarding the restructuring and staffing of the Division, based on future needs of the organisation, as well as creating a planning and budgeting tool for all printed / multimedia material produced by the organisation.


Another client required project management consulting in order to refocus a strategic project for the organisation.  This involved assisting them to rework their project plan in order to be able to manage by milestones as well as facilitating a workshop to enable them to identify and manage the project risks proactively.  Coaching was also provided to the project manager.


5    Programme Design

Susan been responsible for the design of programmes for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC), and Parenting Skills training within communities.  She has also helped many NPOs in the design of their specific programmes.


Susan facilitated the process of designing a new programme to address the need for Parenting Skills training within the communities in which Living Hope operates.  A consultative process was conducted, involving Living Hope staff and community members in order to establish the content needs, as well as to explore the implementation issues.  Additional deliverables included:

  • locally available training materials were researched and      sourced - which adequately addressed the identified needs and were      culturally appropriate;
  • MER (monitoring, evaluation and reporting) tools were specified;
  • a costing model for implementation was developed.


Susan was also responsible for designing a programme for church mobilisation as a solution for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) in the Western Cape, based on a pilot programme run in Gauteng.  The following strategic tools were delivered:

  • Tool/framework mapping the needs of both OVC and local      churches, clearly indicating which needs would be addressed by the      programme;
  • Development plan for the programme, which included the high-level      process flow as well as an Activity-timeline;
  • Annual Budget for the entire organisation.


6    Grant-making

Susan’s five years of experience in the grant-making sector, and specific OVC experience, were utilized to enhance the professionalism of a foundation in the following ways:

  • Specification & design of a framework to be used to      document all the processes, procedures, guidelines and templates used in      the Foundation’s Grant-making process;
  • Made recommendations to improve the filing systems (both      paper-based & electronic) of the Foundation.


In another project on behalf of Southern Hemisphere Consulting,, an organisation operating as a direct provider of services to orphaned and vulnerable children wanted to reposition itself as a grant-maker rather than service provider. The organisation required a brief desktop review of best practices in the grant-making sector in order to understand how other grantmakers structured their formal grant-making processes so as develop their own policies & procedures.


7    Ad hoc Consulting

a)     Organisational Assessments

Susan was responsible for piloting an organisational assessment tool used to assess risk, on behalf of an institutional funder.  The assessment process was improved and the tool was modified based on the feedback from this pilot.


b)    Finance for NPOs

In 2008, Sage Pastel expressed their intention to bring out an accounting package specifically targeted at the non-profit sector.  Susan was contracted to coordinate the gathering of financial system requirements for non-profit organizations.  Susan worked closely with Cathy Masters of C Masters Development Services (CMDS), a specialist in the field of non-profit finances, to identify the requirements of an accounting package that will meet the needs of the non-profit sector – the result of some of this work is an offering for NPOs,  launched by Sage Pastel in Q3 2011 - 


c)     Research

Susan was asked to develop an information map for the social content of a new website.  This required message briefs on topics such as Alcoholism, Literacy and Mentoring.  These are briefs to the technical developers of the platform, which provide an outline of the content to be presented, ways in which the target audience should be engaged with each topic, and the source content which is to be reworked appropriately.