Setting up a Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation system involves the following steps:
Developing Project Results Framework
The results framework depicts the causal linkage between an intervention and desired impact through a series of expected intermediate results. You should draw up a results framework together with your partners as one of the first steps when planning a development measure.
The project should explore alternative strategic options and identify objectives together with partners. In this context, special emphasis is placed on those areas of activity that play a special role in leveraging change.
M&E Tool developed: Results Framework
Defining key performance indicators
Using the results framework, indicators are defined that measure the results of the projects. The indicator provides a quantitative or qualitative variable that provides a valid and reliable way to measure achievement, assess performance, or reflect changes connected to an intervention. It is on the basis of indicators that evidence can be built on the impact of any undertaking.
Indicators should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reliable and Timely.
M&E Tool developed: Indicator Matrix, Indicator Performance Tracker
Baseline data on indicators should be established as a guide to establish where we are at present relative to the results we are trying to achieve. The baseline is the first measurement of an indicator. It sets the current condition against which future change can be tracked.
Important issues when setting baselines and gathering data on indicators include the sources, collection, analysis, reporting and use of data.
Performance targets should be established after gathering baseline data on indicators—what can be achieved in a specific time toward reaching the outcome. Identifying the expected and desired level of project, program, or policy results requires the selection of specific performance targets. Factors to consider include baselines, available resources, time frames and political concerns. A participatory process with stakeholders and partners is key in establishing targets.
M&E Tool developed: Logical Framework
After determining the indicators baseline and targets and implementation of a project starts, data is continuously collected that provide information on the degree to which indicators are being met. These data allows the project team to steer the project and to make managerial and strategic decisions. Data is collected and collated to provide the values for the indicators.
M&E Tool developed: Data Collection tools
The previous steps placed a strong emphasis on the monitoring function—the “M” in M&E. Evaluation is equally important in results based M&E. Evaluation should be conducted on a project after implementation to assess the progress towards meeting the objectives. It also assists in providing information to improve the implementation of the project.
The project team should develop evaluation questions to help the evaluator collect data to meet the information needs of the different stakeholders. An evaluation assesses a project on effectiveness, efficiency, relevancy to the beneficiaries needs, sustainability, management structure and implementation processes.
M&E Tool developed: Evaluation Plan
M&E report is a management tool. After collection and analysis of data on monitoring and evaluation, there is a need for this information to be reported and disseminated to the relevant stakeholders. This information provides a critical, continuous, and real-time feedback on the progress of a given project, program for decision making.
M&E Tool developed: Project Reports templates
Learning and Accountability
RBM&E constitutes a key element of project management. It should support learning processes and knowledge management and provide a reliable basis for fulfilling a project’s accountability obligations to its stakeholders.