Participatory Performance Monitoring & Evaluation
Performance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is an integral component in the management toolbox for achieving the intended results of international development programming. Project outputs and results can be contrasted against performance-based indicators and workplans can be formally reviewed and revised as necessary.
Programmatic strategic objectives and the associated intermediate and second-level results should guide the collection of monitoring and evaluation information. M&E serves to monitor outcomes of Project activities and provide tracking of specified outputs and deliverables. M&E analysis provides an important complement to the subsequent development and refinements to workplans and can provide performance-oriented information for inclusion in Project progress reports. Ultimately, performance monitoring and evaluation serves as the basis for the assessment of Project progress towards achieving stated programmatic goals.
Participatory performance M&E methodology, in contrast to traditional third party (external) evaluation, can provide added dimensions in ascertaining program effectiveness. Traditional evaluation approaches, while considered as somewhat objective, are hampered by the short-term and sporadic necessity of collecting program information after the fact and frequently suffer from an inadequate definition of baselines and indicators. Participatory M&E methodologies require the engagement of the most knowledgeable program experts: Project staff, counterpart and stakeholder personnel, and funding agency officials.
In the participatory M&E methodology, Project staff and key consultants have responsibilities to define indicators for targeted benchmarks and results; collect and maintain monitoring and evaluation information; utilize M&E indicators, as appropriate, to prepare project reports; and measure Project activity progress. The participatory M&E methodology is also intended to engage the major actors in the program arena. The possible structured participation of stakeholder civil society and government sector agencies can keep key officials and citizens informed on Project progress, results, and impact. The participatory approach, through supporting transparent, accountable, and responsive democratic engagement, is intended to directly affect public sector and civil society action on program issues. Through the participation of both governmental and non-governmental actors and encouragement of program ownership, democratic institutions and citizen confidence in development programming will be directly strengthened.
MetaMetrics is currently engaged in designing and supporting the implementation of participatory monitoring and evaluation systems in Armenia, Georgia, India, and Nepal. For each of these long-term projects, MetaMetrics worked with Project staff to develop the M&E procedures appropriate to program content, objectives, and available staff resources to conduct a participatory methodology. MetaMetrics M&E specialists return to the field annually to collate and analyze the collected M&E database and prepare, with intensive Project staff input, the Annual Monitoring and Evaluation Reports. M&E Plans for the subsequent reporting period are revised as necessary. The objective of the participatory approach is that the final M&E Report provide in-depth documentation for assessment of Project progress and evaluation recommendations for future program development.
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