• Sanjukta Moorthy

What do pizza and PMEL have in common?

I use this example to describe what I do: Say you're making pizza for dinner.

You need to figure out if that's what you and your dinner guests want to eat (scanning the field and context analysis).

Then you need to get your cooking team together (stakeholder engagement and participation) to decide on the kind of pizza you want (vision and expected results mapping).

Next, plan out your ingredients, find a good recipe (Theory of Change), and make sure you have all the tools you need (inputs).

Then you get started (project implementation).

As you cook, either you or the person you're cooking with - or both! - monitors how it's going. Are you following your plan, or did you decide to improvise some steps along the way? How is that all going? You may also evaluate as you monitor your activities. This is what we call responding to shifting contexts, cultures, and conditions.

You may encounter accidents while cooking - something might get burned - and you adjust for that so you can continue cooking as you planned (risk assessment, management, and mitigation).

When the pizza is cooked and you're eating it, your taste buds - and your guests - are evaluating whether it's any good, if it matched expectations, and what you should do differently or keep the same for next time. You'll have a clear set of indicators about whether you achieved your goals, and whether you exceeded expectations or not. You can tell the story of your project, by sharing photos on social media (reporting).

You'll have achieved your goals, your guests will be fed and learned cooking skills (outputs), have a delicious meal (outcome), and a well-fed and happy guests - plus likes on Instagram (impact)!

You then collect this feedback, in formal or informal ways, to learn from it. More cheese next time, make the crust thinner, the amount of sauce was just right. You may make notes for next time, which will affect your recipe and the planning process.

And so the cycle continues!