Monitoring and Evaluation: A Closer Look

A growing global partnership
to support evaluation capacity development

As the ten-year countdown toward the Sustainable Development Goals begins, systems to track progress and measure the impact of policies are now more important than ever. Monitoring and evaluation have evolved significantly as professional practices and can deliver invaluable evidence on what is working and what is not, but a major effort is needed to ensure all countries are able to share in the benefits. Many countries, particularly in low-income and lower middle-income parts of the world, still lack the capacity for monitoring and evaluation which risks holding them back and must be addressed if we are all to reach the Sustainable Development Goals together.

Read more about the current challenges in global M&E capacity and the need for joint action in a recent #WhatWorks blog post by IEG Director-General Alison Evans.

New Collaboration to Address Global Gaps in Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity

On January 13, 2020, The Independent Evaluation Group and the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marking the first step towards establishing a global partnership to support evaluation capacity development. Read more about the MoU.

Monitoring

  • Involves continuous or ongoing collection and analysis of information about implementation to review progress;
  • Compares actual progress with what was planned so that adjustments can be made in implementation; and
  • Is an internal activity that is the responsibility of those who manage implementation procedures, thus representing  a good management practice.

Evaluation

  • Is a periodic assessment of the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and/or sustainability of an activity or intervention;
  • Is a systematic search for answers about an intervention (project, program, or policy); and
  • Measures the effects of an intervention and compares them with the goals and objectives of the intervention.

Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) efforts strengthen and sustain both individuals and organizations to:

  • Access, build, and implement evaluative knowledge and skills;
  • Design, implement, and manage effective evaluation processes and findings; and
  • Use evaluations as a performance improvement tool.

By cultivating a spirit of continual learning and capacity development, organizations are able to guide their own team members, stakeholders, and others along a more direct path to program effectiveness and accountability.  ECD also fosters the implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) knowledge and practices.

M&E, an essential component of results-based management, provides information for designing, implementing, and assessing the results of government, civil society, and private sector policies, programs, and projects.  Used well, M&E can help policymakers and program managers determine what works, what is not working, and why. 

M&E in the public sector can also:

  • Support evidence-based policymaking, particularly in the context of national budget cycle and national planning;  
  • Guide ministries and agencies in managing activities at the sector, program, and project levels, including service delivery to beneficiaries; and
  • Enhance accountability and transparency.

ECD Initiatives Supported by the Independent Evaluation Group

The CLEAR Initiative

The CLEAR Initiative is a collaborative global program founded by academic and bilateral and multilateral institutions to support evaluation capacity strengthening in developing countries. Conceived as an innovative approach to developing the M&E capacities of governments and civil society organizations (CSOs), it is based on South-South collaboration and is backed by prestigious academic institutions recognized for their excellence in the evaluation field.

View the list of upcoming evaluation training sessions at regional CLEAR centers, and learn more about gLocal Evaluation Week, an annual week-long event to support local and global knowledge sharing and networking, promote the evaluation practice, and support evidence-based policy making. Events can take place anywhere around the world, in any language.

International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET)

The International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) is an executive training program in development evaluation. IPDET is managed jointly by the University of Berne (Center for Continuing Education and Center for Development and Environment), the Center for Evaluation at Saarland University (Germany) and the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank.

The unique training program runs annually in the summer, and brings together global expertise in development evaluation in Bern, the capital of Switzerland.

IPDET strives to provide a program in which participants:

  • enhance knowledge and skills of development evaluation
  • learn about new topics and global trends, and
  • network for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

For more information about IPDET, visit www.ipdet.org.

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