My time in South Africa allowed me to witness the failures of development at the micro level. I was able to compliment my education and understanding of educational development at the macro level with work at the micro level. I was also able to glimpse a hope for us who are in this kind of work: The beauty of life.

There is a beauty in intentional living. However, development is so focused on intentional progress that rarely we look at the unintentional outcomes of our actions. We misplace our intentionality on goals, rather than inputs and outcomes and we forget that the ends never justify the means.

Monitoring and evaluation offers us a way forward – if done right – to correct our mindsets and hold ourselves accountable. It looks at not only our goals but also our actions: the steps we take to get there. It is a circle, a cyclical process that reflects life itself. If transparent, M&E can be a powerful tool in helping us not only live intentionally, but act intentionally. The ends don’t justify the means, and oppression never leads to freedom – even unintentional oppression. Being mindful, having the right M&E strategy can lead us forward.

I coined Dreamscaping as a way of living and growing intentionally, of making real today our dreams of tomorrow. Monitoring and Evaluation is a central part of that concept. Among other things, it keeps us honest with ourselves and demands that we engage in open and collaborative dialogue. My time in South Africa allowed me to grow this term and has kept me on this path. The beauty of life is that it is shared; and when we come together to share our lives with each other, we scape our dreams into existence. Soñamos El Mundo. We Dream the World.

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