C4D: Review R,M&E systems and studies (meta evaluation)

What is it?

A review process (also referred to as a meta-evaluation) is an important part of the implementation process. It enables critical reflection and reviews of the effectiveness of R,M&E systems, studies and evaluation capacity development strategies. Reviews can be undertaken on evaluation or research plans and M&E frameworks prior to implementation, and on evaluation and assessment reports after implementation.

General Information

The Rainbow Framework provides methods for undertaking a review, including expert reviews, peer-reviews and more. The Manager's Guide to Evaluation also provides guidance on including a both a technical review process and a review by key stakeholders of the evaluation/study design prior to implementation (towards the end of the section). These pages are recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D.

Applying the C4D Evaluation Principles


Critical reflection throughout all aspects of the RM&E helps to maintain the quality of the RM&E and identify areas for improvement or extra attention. It it is particularly important where participatory RM&E approaches are used in order to maintain an eye to issues of power and voice. Developing meta-evaluation processes helps to formalise the processes and procedures that will incorporate this in to an implementable plan for regular critical reflection. 


Including review or meta-evaluation processes in C4D R,M&E systems is a key part of being learning-based, using critical reflection processes, and it contributes to capacity development. The aim is to continually strengthen and improve R,M&E processes so that they better meet the needs of the people and organizations involved and help to create more sustainable, learning-oriented C4D organizations and initiatives.


This task enables mutual learning and engagement among partners, relevant institutions and community groups.

Recommended methods and adaptations for C4D

  • The C4D Evaluation Framework would encourage an inclusive, participatory approach to meta-evaluation, such as: 

Expand to view all resources related to 'C4D: Review R,M&E systems and studies (meta evaluation)'

'C4D: Review R,M&E systems and studies (meta evaluation)' is referenced in: