A practical guide for actor focused Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

This report, written by Jan Van Ongevalle, Huib Huyse, Eugenia Boutylkova, Anneke Maarse & Cristien Temmink for HIVA - Research institute for work and society, looks at how 10 development organisations how their monitoring and evaluation approaches allowed them to deal effectively with complex change. The action reseacrh report looks at the extent approaches such as outcome mapping (OM), most significant change (MSC), client satisfaction instruments (CSI), SenseMaker and participatory M&E tools such as personal goal exercises added value when dealing with complex change.


"We are aware that the term ‘actor focused’ may be contested. In the literature they are more commonly referred to as participatory PME approaches. We prefer to use ‘actor focused’ because it captures better their specific added value of zooming in on specific actors whom a programme is trying to influence directly or indirectly.

While these actors may participate in various degrees in the PME process, the actor focused PME approach directs attention of programme staff towards the changes in their target groups. We identified the main characteristics of an actor focused PME approach as follows:

1. a key characteristic of an actor focused PME approach is that it does not focus on the ‘hoped for changes in state’ (e.g. changes in income levels, agricultural production or health for example). Instead focus will be more on what people do (e.g. behaviour, practices, relationships) in order to contribute to the hoped for changes in state and/or people’s perceptions about the progress towards hoped for changes of state;

2. programme staff and the actors whom the programme is trying to influence directly or indirectly are actively involved in the collection and/or use of monitoring information."


  • Focusing PME on the programme actors 7
  • Overview of PME approaches used in the action research 9
    • Outcome mapping 9
    • Most significant change 13
    • Using OM in combination with MSC 18
    • Client satisfaction instruments (CSI) 20
    • Personal goal exercises and workshop module evaluations 21
    • SenseMaker 23
    • Using a common results framework and integrated planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning (PMEL) system 27 


Jan Van Ongevalle, Huib Huyse, Eugenia Boutylkova, Anneke Maarse & Cristien Temmink (2014). A practical guide for actor focsed Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. HIVA - Research institute for work and society. Retrieved from: http://www.outcomemapping.ca/resource/a-practical-guide-for-actor-focused-planning-monitoring-and-evaluation

No votes yet
Rate this Resource:
This resource is useful for:
A special thanks to this page's contributors


There are currently no comments. Be the first to comment on this page!

Add new comment

Login Login and comment as BetterEvaluation member or simply fill out the fields below.