M&E planning shouldn't be an afterthought

Donor policy and priorities are dictating changes to the practice of monitoring and evaluation so what are the latest trends and what strategies can development implementers employ to plan and budget for an effective M&E program?

In this Devex Hangout, Peter Mayers, an evaluation and research consultant at Coffey International, explains that a focus on learning as opposed to required reporting, technology, and capacity building have changed the discipline dramatically in the past five to 10 years.

“What should be spent on M&E should be driven by the purpose of the M&E,” Mayers stressed. “So when we think about the different steps in planning a monitoring and evaluation budget, the first thing, the most important thing really is to define who is this for? Who are we trying to influence with this evidence?”

Because many implementing organizations often do not dedicate as much thought — or funding — to M&E as they should, these agencies miss out on opportunities to learn from their experiences. In a trip to northern Uganda, for instance, Mayers learned of a project for rural female farmers had unexpected empowerment effects. But because the implementing agency did not budget enough for M&E, it did not have the resources to measure and share the findings.

This article is for Devex Members

For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the author

  • Aimee ocampo 400x400

    Aimee Rae Ocampo

    In her role as editor for business insight, Aimee creates and manages multimedia content and cutting-edge analysis for executives in international development. As the manager of Development Insider, Devex's flagship publication for executive members, she is constantly on the lookout for the latest news, trends and policies that influence the business of development.