C4D: Frame

Frame is one of the seven clusters of R,M&E tasks in the Rainbow Framework.

Framing R,M&E involves being clear about the boundaries of the R,M&E. Why is the R,M&E being done? What are the broad R,M&E questions it is trying to answer? What are the values that will be used to make judgments about whether it is good or bad, better or worse than alternatives, or getting better or worse?

There are four tasks associated with frame. Each task includes C4D specific methods, advice and resources on establishing the boundaries and focus of the R,M&E

In this section

  • Intended users are the specifically identified people who will use the M&E findings; primary intended users are those whose needs the evaluation will particularly try to meet. Primary intended users have a desire, responsibility or role in doing things differently (e.g., make decisions, change strategies, take action, change policies, etc.), because of their engagement in the R,M&E process and/or with the R,M&E findings.
  • The purpose of the R,M&E, and the key driving questions is one of the three key components that should determine the M&E methods and processes that are used (other issues are discussed under Determine and secure resources and (in relation to the nature of the initiative) Develop program theory or logic model with Complexity).
  • R,M&E Questions are the small number of broad questions that R,M&E are intended to answer, not the many specific questions that might be on a questionnaire or an interview schedule.  Deciding which questions should be answered is one of the most important and often the most difficult part of designing M&E (Catley et al. 2008: 12). The approach advocated here is a questions-driven approach, where key users first agree on what they need to know and use that as the basis for selecting methods and indicators.
  • Evaluation, which means to assess the value or worth of something, is essentially about values. Underpinning R,M&E systems are questions such as 'Is this good? Which is better? What is best?' Therefore, it is important to be systematic and transparent about the values that are used through the development of criteria and standards, and where these come from.