Monitoring and evaluation
In the present-day world, the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) make a compulsory and integral part of any development initiative, regardless of its funding source. Monitoring is the continuous assessment of development interventions and their environment against the planned objectives, outcomes, activities and means. Monitoring identifies the actual or potential achievements or failures as early as possible and facilitates their timely adjustments. In fact, it serves as an ongoing management and adjustment tool for those responsible for interventions.
Evaluation is a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the design, implementation and outcome of an ongoing or completed development intervention or project. The two key objectives of evaluation are as follows: i) improve future policy and interventions through feedback of the lessons learned, and ii) provide a basis for accountability, including information access for the public.
The core guiding principles behind Evaluation are those laid down by the OECD-DAC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee) and accepted internationally. Evaluation aims to assess the relevance of the intervention, effectiveness of achieving the project results/outputs, efficiency level of the expected outcomes and implementation of assigned activities and measures, long-term impact of intervention and sustainability of achieved positive changes.
AM Partners offers the M&E assessments and services below:
- The Project-Specific Monitoring System design is quite essential at the formation or early implementation phase. Good design is based on clear and measurable objectives and assumptions for the intervention and its components, and for these purposes a system of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) indicators is defined and applied. For the selected set of indicators, relevant verification sources are suggested, and data collection tools are assigned.
- Baseline Studies are often used to identify indicators and provide contents for them. Baseline study is a collection of data describing and analyzing the socio-economic and other conditions at the pre-project stage. The indicators set through a baseline study are used at a later date as reference points to demonstrate that a project objective has been reached and a planned change has occurred.
- Mid-Term Evaluations are conducted toward the middle of the development intervention. Usually, such assessments do not cover the impact and sustainability aspects of development initiatives and most efforts are concentrated on the current status of the project relevance, efficiency and effectiveness.
- Final or Impact Evaluations are conducted upon the completion of the development interventions (immediately or in some pre-defined period). These assignments usually comprehensively address all aspects of development interventions and provide final assessment of the implementation based on the Projects Logical Framework and set of indicators. Sometimes, final or impact evaluations are conducted in a form of Implementation Completion Reviews (ICRs) that are usually applied by internal staff of donor organization.
The methodology and instruments applied for the M&E assignments are rather standard. While quantitative and qualitative assessment methods can be used, combined methods are more common.