Monitoring

Better Monitoring: Help us address the neglected ‘M’ in M&E

Jo Hall's picture 15th September 2021 by Jo Hall

Effective monitoring is essential for managing performance, however, despite this, monitoring is often undervalued and understood quite narrowly.

While the term “Monitoring and Evaluation” (M&E) is widely used, the monitoring function has not always benefitted from the same level of investment, professionalization and systems strengthening as the evaluation function. Instead, the monitoring function is often relegated to or viewed as a lower-level, technical function. This comes at the expense of really using monitoring to manage performance and maximise impact.

Better Monitoring

Better Monitoring

Phase 1 funded by UNICEF

Globally, the monitoring function in and across organisations has not always benefitted from the same collective investment and inter-organisation cooperation in professionalization and systems strengthening as the planning and evaluation functions.

BetterEvaluation's projects

Using rubrics for monitoring

I am keen to understand peoples' experience with rubrics in program monitoring and whether the progress expected in a program and detailed indicators can be accommodated in a rubric. I like the idea of consolidating results into a rubric by using indicator performance aligned with KEQs and levels (Excellent, Good, Poor etc) to synthesis results back up from indicator to outcome. My struggle is with the sheer quantity of indicators at a lower level that need to be tracked, particularly early in a program before any outcomes are possible.

Monitoring the composition and evolution of the research networks of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB)

This Brief provides an example of how Social Network Analysis (SNA) can be used, in the context of agricultural research. The authors describe what SNA is, and how it was applied, step by step. They also present the findings of a particular network analysis, so readers can understand what types of information a SNA can generate, its pros and cons. In this example, SNA is used as a monitoring mechanism to study the evolution of a research network, and consequently, the evolution of the types of research being conducted.

For more information on how the SNA was used, and the results, please refer to the full report.

Enemy-M&E

At the SAMEA conference this year, in South Africa, Dugan Fraser made a very interesting presentation entitled 'How to avoid Feeding Enemy M&E'. He presented how M&E can cause harm or beenfit a project, if used well.

From his presentation:

How Enemy-M&E does harm?

Enemy-M:

  • data gaming
  • goal displacement
  • data corruption

Enemy-E:

Ushahidi Tool

Ushahidi Tool is a "free and open source mapping and content management system which can be used by organizations worldwide in... crisis-related situations. The main goal of the [tool] is to create a system that facilitates early warning systems and helps in data visualization for response and recovery." ("Ushahidi," 2012)