Monitoring and evaluation
Providing support to a capacity development process is a purposeful intervention aimed at bringing about change. Through monitoring, practitioners assess from time to time whether the intervention is still on course towards achieving the envisioned results or whether adjustments are required. An evaluation at the end of an intervention assesses the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the intervention.
Within the aided development sector, the logical framework is the most commonly used tool for planning, as well as monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Although the methodology of a logical framework has its merits, it is often not well applied and mainly used as a checklist for the purpose of accountability. Monitoring is reduced to checking whether activities have been completed as planned. The logical framework (in practice not in theory) does not encourage stakeholders to critically reflect from time to time on the quality of the previous steps or the validity of analytical insights and assumptions at the beginning of every project. This however may not be so much a problem of the “logframe” method as such but the way it is linked to contractual agreements between donor and recipient. The bureaucratic implications of proposing a change in a logical framework are often discouraging. As a result practitioners are not stimulated to learn and to develop an eye for the unpredictable dynamics in a complex environment that makes the road to planned outcomes (and even the planned outcomes themselves) very uncertain. Therefore the logical framework is seen to induce linear thinking.
The resources on page all explore ways to overcome the limitations associated with the logical framework approach to ensure that M&E processes serve to facilitate learning and innovation.
This wide-ranging publication aims to contribute to the international debate on how to achieve equitable development results by conceptualizing, designing, implementing and using evaluations focused on human rights and equity. It does so by offering a number of strong contributions from 27 world-level experts and senior officers in institutions and governments dealing with development and evaluation. The authors also presented their contribution in a series of webinars that are available for download on the My M&E web portal. The book complements an earlier manual “ How to design and implement equity-focused evaluations,” published in 2011.More
13 May 2013
One of the main challenges countries face in effectively targeting social safety net programmes is correctly identifying the poorest households. This January 2013 Brief highlights a study by MIT's Poverty Action Lab that compared community-based methods of selecting who qualifies for a cash transfer programme with proxy means tests. The study found that while participatory methods were less accurate overall, they greatly improved local satisfaction and better matched the poor’s own concept of poverty.More
25 April 2013
This series of interviews conducted under the auspices of a USAID-supported market facilitation initiative is available for download. The podcasts explore the recognition that development takes place in a dynamic, complex system and the resulting consequences for monitoring and evaluation frameworks. The three interviewees - David Snowden, Shamim Bodhanya and Jeanne Downing - provide insights from research as well as practice.More
05 April 2013
The rise of "Making Markets Work for the Poor" approaches in recent years has been driven in part by critique about the sustainability of impact, scalability and/or cost-effectiveness of traditional value chain interventions. However, according to this brief from the GROOVE Learning Network - an initiative of the USAID Microlinks programme - these new approaches bring with them new challenges related to the role of development practitioners and "how we should be pursuing that role." How, for instance, should development practitioners ensure that they serve as "facilitators" rather than getting involved directly as "market actors"?More
02 April 2013
The 2013 edition of the Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR) on the theme
Capacity Development for Natural Resources Management was launched in March 2013. The
report focuses on what African countries need to do individually and collectively to effectively
manage the continent's nautral resource wealth. Like the previous two editions, the Africa
Capacity Index ranks the performance of 44 African countries according to four key clusters of
capacity: the policy environment; processes for implementation; development results at the country
level; and capacity development outcomes.
20 March 2013
An updated basic version of the MonQI Toolbox - an instrument for monitoring and analysing the management and performance of small-scale agricultural enterprises - will be launched in June 2013. The tool enhances users' ability to systematically describe and analyse elements such as farm households, assets, land, livestock, crops and inputs and outputs. As part of the launch, the project team will conduct a training course at Alterra, Wageningen University & Research Centre in Wageningen, The Netherlands, from 17 - 21 June.More
18 March 2013
A working group set up to review the reform of USAID's policies in the area of domestic accountability, has released its findings and recommendations. The Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) focused its review on two overall goals in the reform process that are most relevant for changing the way the Agency engages in implementation and procurement work in support of building sustainability and local partnerships.More
World Bank Institute (2012) Guide to Evaluating Capacity Development Results
David Watson (2010) "Combining the ‘Best of Two Worlds’ in Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity Development" in: Ubels, J., N. Acquaye-Baddoo and A. Fowler (eds) Capacity Development in Practice, Earthscan, pp. 239-249
Nigel Simister with Rachel Smith (2010) Monitoring and Evaluating Capacity Building: Is it really that difficult? INTRAC Praxis Paper 3
Engel, P., N. Keijzer, and T. Land (2007) A balanced approach to monitoring and evaluating capacity and performance: A proposal for a framework, ECDPM Discussion Paper No. 58E
David Watson (2006) Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity and Capacity Development, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58B
MandE News: Resources on M&E communities of practice
Launched by Rick Davies, an independent M&E consultant, in 1997, MandE NEWS is both an information service and community resource on monitoring and evaluation practice. The portal contains a comprehensive database of M&E tools and methods, training and job opportunities, and the latest news and events in this area.
The web portal supports facilitates several mailing lists on M&E issues, especially as they relate to international development aid. It also contains a helpful overview of numerous specialized e-groups and learning communities, including country-specific groups active in all regions of the world.
For a full overview of email lists (egroups), and information on how to join, or start a group, please click here.