What you need to know: Careers in monitoring and evaluation

A monitoring and evaluation team checks an innovative mobile app that collects water quality data. But knowing how to use innovative new technology is just one aspect of an M&E job. Photo by: DIVatUSAID / mWater / CC BY-NC-ND 

Avi DeSilva, who currently provides technical leadership in the design and delivery of training in monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management reporting for staff at Counterpart International, didn’t know he would end up in M&E.

DeSilva, now a senior monitoring and evaluation program officer for the nongovernmental organization, began his career as an intern for a private consulting firm in performance management and M&E while in college. After accepting a program management job upon graduation, DeSilva realized how much he enjoyed the field and began to actively learn more about it.

It was good timing. As funders and implementers alike are putting more importance on measuring the results and impact of their work, the field of monitoring and evaluation has taken off. Organizations have created dedicated positions and even departments focused on M&E, and look for this experience when recruiting for program and technical positions as well.

DeSilva then took a risk and headed to Afghanistan, where he had the opportunity for experience in a place that “nobody else wanted to go,” he said. The fact that he had already worked for a development consulting firm and had gained an understanding of how USAID worked and the overall issues around compliance and project implementation made him a viable candidate for a first M&E post.

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About the author

  • Nina segal

    Nina Segal Kennedy

    Nina Segal occasionally blogs on career matters for both job seekers and HR employees for Devex. She works as an international career consultant with a broad range of nonprofit and international organizations, including UNICEF, UNFPA, the U.N. Secretariat, IFAD, FAO, Realizing Rights and the Ford Foundation, as well as individuals in the NGO community. Nina has a particular interest in building networks and improving access to career opportunities for underrepresented groups.