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.