Photo © by Carl Gustav Klemmed Lorentzen

Project monitoring and evaluation

Why

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an important part of the successful management of a partnership, as it strengthens the basis for monitoring resources, results and risks, fosters learning in the partnering organisations, and supports the public accountability of the project.
Monitoring and evaluation are two different disciplines – but closely interlinked.
Monitoring allows you to continuously check and document factual results, processes and estimated impact, and use this as a basis for future decision-making and learning.
Evaluation allows you to assess and evaluate progress, results and learnings from the project. You use the data gathered through the monitoring process for the evaluation.

M&E may serve the following purposes:

  • Ensure organisational learning and improve future activities and practices.
  • Serve as a basis for dialogue on progress between partners and the target group.
  • Ensure that the project is on track and in accordance with the set targets.
  • Form basis for informed decisions on the future of the joint project.
  • Enhance understanding of the broader value-add and risks of the partnership / project.
  • Show accountability of the resources used and the results and impact obtained.

How

Among different partner organisations, CSOs are typically accustomed to conducting comprehensive M&E, due to requirements from e.g. the EU, DANIDA, and other donors.
On the other hand, businesses rarely conduct the same type of comprehensive M&E processes.

This makes it important to agree on the ambition level and scope of the M&E, when defining the project. In addition, make sure that you leverage the M&E expertise of the CSO in a relevant way, and that you agree on how M&E activities are compensated in the project budget.

In the scoping process of the partnership, you should design an M&E framework, which meets the reporting needs of each partner organisation, and if relevant, donors and other stakeholders.

You typically go through four key steps when defining an M&E framework:

Step 1.
Identify Key Performance Indicators, impact targets and scope of M&E activities

Step 2.
Set up a system to collect data and information within the defined scope

Step 3.
Collect data and document inputs, output and outcomes

Step 4.
Analyse data and evaluate significance of outcomes against KPIs and impact targets

fig 1

Related documents for download:

120px MS word DOC icon.svg Project M&E Guideline (.doc)

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