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Don’t Forget This Simple Tip to Enhance Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks!

The image below is probably the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) template that you are used to seeing and using. Interestingly, based on the feedback from a number of my clients, I realised that just having the columns ‘Baseline’ and ‘Target’ are not sufficient. Though everyone understood what a baseline is (versus a target), there is still some confusion when it comes to interpreting the figures.

Please click the table to view a more legible version

For example, say the baseline for the number of schools in a community in 2018 is 20 and the target is for there to be 25 schools in the community by at the end of 2019.

I realised that in meetings, some persons would look at the M&E Framework and believed that funds from the project will be used to construct 25 school classrooms in total. Alarm bells would then go off. Why are so many additional schools being built when there are not enough trained teachers and equipment to place in them?

Then I would have to explain that actually, only 5 additional schools would be built over the course of the project (to bring the total number of schools in the community in 2019 to 25, as 20 schools already existed before the project started).Then I started to wonder ‘what if I was not physically in the same room to clarify that only 5 schools would be built?

This is when I remembered a handy tip.

I could simply insert a column that says ‘Commitment’, which the target minus the baseline. So Target-Baseline (25 – 20) is 5. This makes it clear that the commitment of the project is just 5 school schools and not 25.

Please click the table to view a more legible version

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this tip will also help you ward off some skeptical looks when you present your M&E frameworks.

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​​​Ann-Murray Brown

Monitoring, Evaluation and
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