Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity and Capacity Development

The paper from the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) outlines the key points emerging from a review of some of the literature on the topic of capacity, capacity development, and its M&E aspects. 

"The study consists of about 20 field cases carried out according to a methodological framework with seven components, as follows:

  • Capacity: What are the components of capacity, i.e. the capabilities, in a given context?
  • Endogenous change and adaptation: How do processes of change take place within an organisation or system? 
  • Performance: What has the organisation or system accomplished or is it now able to deliver? The focus here is on assessing the effectiveness of the process of capacity development rather than on impact, which will be apparent only in the long term. 
  • External context: How has the external context – the historical, cultural, political and institutional environment, and the constraints and opportunities they create – influenced the capacity and performance of the organisation or system? 
  • Stakeholders: What has been the influence of stakeholders such as beneficiaries, suppliers and supporters, and their different interests, expectations, modes of behaviour, resources, interrelationships and intensity of involvement? 
  • External interventions: How have outsiders influenced the process of change? 
  • Internal features and key resources: What are the patterns of internal features such as formal and informal roles, structures, resources, culture, strategies and values, and what influence have they had at both the organisational and multi-organisational levels?" (Watson, 2006)


Specific Options and Approaches Mentioned

  • Logical Framework – p. 3
  • Results-based Management Framework – p. 7-9, 20
  • Systems Thinking Management Framework – p. 10-14, 20-23
  • Drivers of Change (DoC) Analysis – p. 20-21
  • Participatory Approach – p. 22
  • Self-Assessment Approaches – p. 22
  • Work Stories – p. 23
  • Most Significant Change (MSC) Technique – p. 24-26
  • Outcome Mapping (OM) – p. 26-28


Watson, D. (2006) Monitoring and evaluation of capacity and capacity development. (Discussion Paper 58B). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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