Organisational M&E policy

Evaluation policy; monitoring policy; Policies and procedures

Organisational monitoring and evaluation policies are the set of rules or principles that an organisation uses to guide its decisions and actions with respect to monitoring and evaluation across programs and departments.

A policy is usually less detailed than a strategy, plan or guidance and usually involves high-level organisational approval. Sometimes, these are set out in one or more formal policy documents, such as an 'Evaluation Policy'; sometimes, they are stated in legislation or other documents.

Organisational policies may need to be consistent with national or sub-national M&E policies. For example, the national evaluation policy in the USA requires all national agencies to develop an organisational evaluation policy.

An organisational M&E policy or evaluation policy might address the following issues:

  • Definitions and conceptual framework: for example, what different types of evaluation are identified and how these are understood to relate to monitoring

  • Goals: the overall rationale for M&E and their intended uses – for example, whether they are primarily focused on accountability to the community or informing management decisions to improve implementation 

  • Roles and participation: who will be involved in which processes and their roles and responsibilities – for example, who will need to approve the publication of a final evaluation report or be responsible for data quality in monitoring systems 

  • What will be evaluated and when: for example, whether all programs or all programs that meet certain criteria will be evaluated; whether evaluations will be primarily focused before, during or after implementation.

  • Management of resources: how staff time and budget will be allocated to support M&E– for example, requiring a proportion of program budgets be allocated to cover direct costs of M&E or to staff internal M&E units

  • Processes and methods: whether certain methods and processes are required or preferred – for example, preferred methods for data collection and reporting, preferred research designs for impact evaluations, required processes to archive data or an expectation that client voices will be sought in all evaluations 

  • Reporting and supporting use: what processes will be put in place to support, document and report on use – for example, requiring a Management Response to all evaluation reports 

  • Review and quality assurance: what processes will be put in place to monitor and evaluate M&E – for example, requiring expert review of evaluation designs before moving to implementation 

  • Capacity strengthening: what resources and opportunities will be provided to increase the skills, motivations and incentives for doing and using M&E – for example, offering professional development in evaluation for program managers




Development agency

United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), (n.d.).Guidance to programmes for developing an evaluation policy. Retrieved from website:

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