Participatory monitoring, evaluation, reflection and learning for community-based adaptation manual

This manual from Care International, provides detailed guidance on the use of a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection & Learning (MERL) tool  primarily intended to support adaptive decision-making in communities vulnerable to climate change.

The manual provides a system to:

  • "Develop participatory monitoring, evaluation, learning and reflection strategies to help stakeholders  assess Community-based Adaptation so that practices can improve over time. 
  • Guide the development of locally specific, community-based indicators for local adaptation, for project planners to assess whether CBA projects are effective in the context of longer-term adaptive processes. 
  • Monitor changing contexts of vulnerability to inform Community-based Adaptation planning.
  • Help ensure mutual accountability of and to stakeholders, managers and donors by demonstrating to what extent project objectives have been met, and whether the objectives remain the right ones."


Guidance on selecting tools 57

Tool 1: Shared learning dialogues 58

Tool 2: Service provider analysis 59

Tool 3: Adaptation visioning for  self-monitoring and evaluation 60

Tool 4: Envisioning future climate scenarios  and impacts of climate change 62

Tool 5: Mapping behavioural change journals 64

Tool 6: Mapping 66

Tool 7: Visual documentation for PMERL 68

Tool 8: Access, use and control  70

Tool 9: Most Significant Change 72

Tool 10: EXSECO, an interview tool 74

Tool 11: Hazard and response force-field analysis 76

Tool 12: Trend analysis through time-lines  and seasonal calendars 78

Tool 13: Rain calendars: A tool for  understanding changing rainfall  patterns and effects on livelihoods 82

Tool 14: Quarterly Reflection Meeting Guide 83


This resource was suggested to BetterEvaluation by Aarjan Dixit, CARE International, Nepal.


Ayers, J., Anderson, S., Pradhan, S., & Rossing, T. Care International, (2012). Participatory monitoring, evaluation, reflection and learning for community-based adaptation: Pmerl manual. Retrieved from website: