Methods for Monitoring and Evaluation
M&E and Impact
Design, Planning and M&E
System Set-up
What to Monitor
Information Management
Capacities and Conditions
Critical Reflection
Logframe Sample
M&E Matrix Sample
M&E Methods
Sample TORs
Methods for Monitoring and Evaluation
Methods for Monitoring and Evaluation

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This Annex summarises 34 methods you might find useful for specific M&E tasks. For ease of use, the methods have been grouped in seven categories:

    1. Sampling-related methods
    2. Core M&E methods
    3. Discussion methods (for groups)
    4. Methods for spatially-distributed information
    5. Methods for time-based patterns of change
    6. Methods for analysing linkages and relationships
    7. Methods for ranking and prioritising.

Each method is briefly explained in terms of purpose, steps and application tips. As these methods are only brief descriptions from longer texts, please refer to the original texts for additional information (see Further Reading). Note that each method can be adapted and mixed with other methods to suit your needs. See Section 6 for more thoughts on information gathering and management.

You can also create your own methods. For instance, in Zambia, staff of a drinking water project launched an essay contest in different high schools in order to understand youth’s perceptions and assessment of the project. This method ended up providing information that was not being obtained by other means. The essays revealed that, in many cases, children were being asked to help dig wells to satisfy the project’s volunteer labour quota demand. This prevented them from attending school, an effect that was not intended by the project. With this information, staff were able to rethink how to organise project implementation to avoid this negative effect.

Any method can be used in two ways to understand change.

Option 1. It can be applied regularly, as a monitoring sequence, to gain insight into trends. This requires creating a starting point, or "baseline" of data (see Section 5.5). Subsequent applications of the method can be compared to the baseline to identify change and try to understand its causes.

Option 2. It can be used retrospectively to inquire about change in the project area. This option takes the current situation as the starting point and asks people to describe how the situation used to be, for example, three years ago. While it does not make use of an independently assessed baseline it does aim to compare changes over time. Because it relies on people’s memory, this use is only appropriate if you do not need high levels of proven precision for the data.

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