Sample Job Descriptions and Terms of Reference for Key M&E Tasks and Actors
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Sample TORs


 

 

 

 

This Annex helps guide those responsible for contracting, including managers and IFAD and cooperating institution staff, in shaping project job descriptions to include M&E responsibilities based on the learning and participation-oriented ideas presented in this Guide. It outlines three job descriptions, two sets of external responsibilities that cover the most common M&E functions in a project and five terms of reference, or TOR (see Table E-1). It includes ideas for the M&E responsibilities of primary stakeholder groups. While it is not common for TOR to be drawn up for such groups, in some projects primary stakeholders are service providers and so have M&E responsibilities. The material in this annex focuses on the learning-oriented and participatory M&E principles on which this Guide is based.

Each project is unique in terms of hierarchies of control, timing of staff appointments, and numbers and locations of staff. Responsibilities may well differ and lie with different individuals than those suggested here. Develop your own TOR and job descriptions to suit project needs (see Box E-1). Draw on the material in this annex for inspiration.

For those projects wanting to strengthen their participation and learning focus, two questions might help when developing TORs or job descriptions: (1) How will this person contribute to the project’s learning processes? and (2) What aspects of participatory M&E need to be included in this individual’s TOR or job description?

 

Box E-1. Elements to include when constructing your own TORs

Background

  • Description of the project (goal, purpose, outcomes)
  • Contribution of the job contract to the project

Purpose of the task being contracted

  • Main purpose, key audience(s) and expected outputs
  • Formal decisions that the task supports and planned use of outputs from the task

Scope and method

  • Overall scope of the work
  • Desired type of analysis, approach and methods, particularly what is expected in terms of participatory approaches

Issues to be covered

  • Delimitation of themes in relation to the purpose of the task
  • Extent to which cross-cutting issues (gender, poverty, empowerment) are to be dealt with

Personnel requirements

  • Number of people to be involved in the task and the time allotted for each
  • Necessary professional qualifications and experience

Schedule

  • Starting date, timing of interim analysis, deadline

Stakeholders to be involved

  • Who should be involved: authorities, institutions, groups, individuals, funding agency, cooperating institution, steering committee
  • How people/groups will be involved

Remuneration

  • Daily rates
  • Costs to be covered and not covered
  • How invoicing and payment will proceed

Documentation

  • Ownership of work and, therefore, extent to which documentation will be distributed
 

Table E-1. List of key TORs and job descriptions

Job Description

1. Programme director w/ M&E focus

2. M&E coordinator

3. M&E field staff

Responsibilities That Could Be Included in Memoranda of Understanding

4. M&E responsibilities of general project (and partner) staff

5. M&E responsibilities of primary stakeholder groups

Terms of Reference

6. Consultant – setting up the M&E system

7. Consultant – integrating participatory elements into M&E

8. Consultant – developing information management

9. Implementing partner – M&E component

10. Consultant team – mid-term review

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E.1 Project Director (M&E Aspects Only)

General scope of the job (M&E-related)

The project director will coordinate project management and ensure that implementation be realised according to the conditions of the loan agreement and based on the project appraisal report. This includes that ensuring the M&E requirements described are developed and implemented in a timely fashion that represents the views of key stakeholders. She/He is also responsible for making sure there is sufficient and appropriate personnel with the right level of resources and other support needed to implement good quality M&E.

Organisational relationships (M&E-related)

The project director will be responsible for project progress and the M&E system and will be accountable to the project coordination committee, relevant staff of the cooperating institution and funding agencies, and appropriate levels of government ministries. She/he will be accountable to staff (project and partner) and primary stakeholders for project progress, problems and strategy.

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related only)

Early implementation tasks

  • Establish the office structure for M&E coordination.

  • Appoint key M&E staff to the project and supervise their activities.

  • Guide the establishment of administrative, accounting and project-component M&E systems.

  • Coordinate revision of the project strategy with key stakeholders to ensure an updated and shared understanding of the strategy and information needs.

  • Negotiate approval for changes to the project strategy and processes with funding agencies and cooperating institutions.

  • Ensure that an effective and participatory M&E system is established in as decentralised a manner as is possible and would be effective.

Ongoing management tasks

  • Prepare the AWPB and revise the M&E plan and system by seeking stakeholder inputs in order to produce these plans with the full commitment of all the organisations involved in the project. Present the AWPB and M&E plan to the relevant approval bodies in a timely manner for review and approval.

  • For each service provider contract, ensure that detailed specifications are prepared in a timely, objective, fair and transparent manner, including the M&E responsibilities and administration of terms and awards.

  • Make sure the business of the project is conducted in an efficient manner by supervising and monitoring project implementation. Ensure that timely decisions on corrective actions are made and implemented.

  • Direct and supervise the day-to-day operations of the project, guided by the project document and the AWPB, providing any necessary amendments to ensure smooth performance.

  • Mobilise relevant M&E technical assistance in a timely manner, with clearly demarcated responsibilities that are based on the participatory and equity principles of the project.

  • Assure that all contractual obligations are adhered to and make the necessary contacts and efforts to ensure implementation meets project targets.

  • Regularly appraise staff and provide feedback and support to enable them to do their jobs better.

Communication

  • Develop close working relationships with all project participants and stakeholders – including the primary stakeholders, line departments, private sector and NGOs – all parties required to establish a shared vision of the project and achieve objectives.

  • Establish and maintain good working relations with the relevant government ministries, as well as other higher-level stakeholder groups.

  • Ensure easy public access to M&E reports and data and make sure they are widely distributed.

  • Submit required analytical reports on progress – including indications of planned actions and financial statements – on time and to the relevant bodies, with assistance from M&E staff.

  • Encourage staff to report frankly on fieldwork, highlighting problems and possible solutions plus lessons learned. Reward innovation in critical reflection and learning.

  • Ensure the planning of and participate in key reflection moments – in particular, the annual project reviews.

  • Sign implementation agreements with the implementing partners, defining the modalities for implementation and M&E. Ensure that participatory M&E and learning initiatives are specified in terms consistent with the direction of the project.

  • Control the budget and safeguard against project funds and assets misuse.

  • Make all efforts to engage key stakeholders in important external evaluations to ensure an understanding of locally perceived impacts and problems.

  • See that all ad hoc evaluation studies needed to gain timely and relevant insights into emerging areas of concern are undertaken. Make sure the data are shared with all those involved in decision making and follow up on the implementation of any decisions.

  • Support external missions in ways that foster a joint learning process that identifies how the project could be improved further to achieve impact.

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E. 2 M&E Coordinator

A project might choose not to centralise the M&E function around one coordinator. The responsibilities and tasks listed below will then need to be explicitly linked to other project stakeholders if project M&E is to function well.

General scope of the job

The M&E coordinator is responsible for guiding the overall M&E strategy and implementation of related activities within the project and via partners, plus providing timely and relevant information to project stakeholders. This entails close communication with all involved in M&E design and coordination: core project and partner M&E staff; representatives from the steering committee or similar unit; representatives from primary stakeholder groups; and the project director, external consultants and field staff when appropriate, plus members of external M&E-related missions.

Critical tasks for the M&E coordinator are setting up the M&E system and ensuring it is implemented effectively by the key stakeholders, namely the primary stakeholders and implementing partners. This is undertaken through the joint development of a shared M&E system that is based on existing formal and informal mechanisms and systems among key stakeholders. This needs to be supported by facilitating stakeholders to value, have appropriate capacities for and undertake their own M&E activities, and to link these into an overall assessment of project progress and needed actions.

Organisational relationships

Note: organisational relationships cannot be detailed in this sample job description as project structures vary too much. However, a job description should specify to whom the M&E coordinator reports. It should also include with whom she/he must consult when making decisions, including consultations with partners and primary stakeholders, when it comes to consensus on methodology and on analysis of the implications of M&E data.

Responsibilities and tasks (undertaken with others involved in M&E design and implementation)

Setting up the system

  • Help revise the project logframe matrix, particularly in the areas of the objective hierarchy, indicators and monitoring mechanisms.

  • Help develop the AWPB.

  • Develop the overall framework for project M&E, for example, annual project reviews, participatory impact assessments, process monitoring, operations monitoring and lessons-learned workshops.

  • Guide the process for identifying and designing the key indicators for each component, to record and report physical progress against the AWPB. Also steer the process for designing the format of such progress reports.

  • Guide the process for identifying the key performance questions and parameters for monitoring project performance and comparing it to targets. Design the format for such performance reports.

  • Clarify the core information needs of central project management, the steering committee (or similar body), funding agencies and the cooperating institution.

  • With stakeholders, set out the framework and procedures for the evaluation of project activities.

  • Review the quality of existing social and economic data in the project area, the methods of collecting it and the degree to which it will provide good baseline statistics for impact evaluation.

  • Based on the review of existing data on the area, draw up the TOR for, design and cost out a baseline survey and a needs assessment survey.

  • With the implementing partners, review their existing approaches and management information systems and agree on any required changes, support and resources.

  • Identify other M&E staff that the project needs to contract. Guide recruitment.

  • Recruit, guide and supervise organisations that are contracted to implement special surveys and studies required for evaluating project effects and impacts.

  • Ensure that all service provider contracts include specifications for the internal monitoring required of them, the reporting systems and the penalties for failure to report as specified.

  • Develop a plan for project-related capacity-building on M&E and for any computer-based support that may be required.

  • Organise and undertake training with stakeholders, including primary stakeholders, in M&E skills, including participatory aspects.

Implementation of M&E

  • Based on the AWPB and in particular the programme budgets, design the framework for the physical and process monitoring of project activities.

  • Guide staff and implementing partners in preparing their progress reports. Together, analyse these reports in terms of problems and actions needed. Prepare consolidated progress reports for project management to submit to the relevant bodies, in accordance with approved reporting formats and timing.

  • Review monitoring reports, analyse them for impact evaluation and to identify the causes of potential bottlenecks in project implementation.

  • Collaborate with staff and implementing partners on qualitative monitoring to provide relevant information for ongoing evaluation of project activities, effects and impacts.

  • Foster participatory planning and monitoring by training and involving primary stakeholder groups in the M&E of activities.

  • Identify the need and draw up the TORs for specific project studies.

  • Ensure that, in general, project monitoring arrangements comply with the project loan agreement and, in particular, the provisions of this agreement are fully observed in the design of project M&E.

  • Inform and join external supervision and evaluation missions – of funding and other agencies – by screening and analysing monitoring reports as well as by furnishing direct personal knowledge of the field situation.

  • Organise (and provide) refresher training in M&E for project and implementing partner staff, local organisations and primary stakeholders.

  • Plan for regular opportunities to identify lessons learned and implications for the project’s next steps. Participate in these events when possible.

Communication

  • Prepare reports on M&E findings, as required, working closely with financial controller, technical staff and implementing partners.

  • Undertake regular visits to the field to support implementation of M&E and to identify where adaptations might be needed.

  • Guide the regular sharing of the outputs of M&E findings with project staff, implementing partners and primary stakeholders.

  • In collaboration with the accountant, provide the project director with management information that she/he may require.

  • Make regular reports to the project board (or equivalent decision-making structure), highlighting areas of concern and preparing the documentation for review at meetings.

  • Check that monitoring data are discussed in the appropriate forum and in a timely fashion in terms of implications for future action. If necessary, create such discussion forums to fill any gaps.

  • Participate in external missions and facilitate mission team members’ access to M&E data and to stakeholders.

Qualifications and experience required

Note: in this sample job description it is not possible to specify exact qualifications as they will depend on the structure of your project. Generally speaking, suitable candidates should have a degree in a field related to development and/or management and experience in field research. Statisticians are sometimes given the job of M&E coordinator. While statistical skills are essential to include, they do not provide the breadth of understanding about reflective analysis to guarantee the candidate would be suitable.

At least several years of proven experience with:

  • the logical framework approach and other strategic planning approaches;

  • M&E methods and approaches (including quantitative, qualitative and participatory);

  • planning and implementation of M&E systems;

  • training in M&E development and implementation;

  • facilitating learning-oriented analysis sessions of M&E data with multiple stakeholders;

  • information analysis and report writing.

She/He must also have:

  • a solid understanding of rural development, with a focus on participatory processes, joint management, and gender issues;
  • familiarity with and a supportive attitude towards processes of strengthening local organisations and building local capacities for self-management;
  • willing to undertake regular field visits and interact with different stakeholders, especially primary stakeholders;
  • computer skills;

  • leadership qualities, personnel and team management (including mediation and conflict resolution).

Desirable:

  • experience in M&E system design;

  • experience in data processing and with computers.

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E.3 M&E Staff

Staffing arrangements will vary according to the project budget and structure. The general principle is to decentralise the M&E function among stakeholders, encouraging and facilitating them to share their capacities and insights in joint M&E. Therefore, the roles and tasks listed below will need to be distributed among other staff and partners as appropriate for your context. The ideas below focus on three types of M&E staff that are commonly (but not always) found in projects: M&E support officer, regional/district level M&E officer and data management officer.

M&E Support Officer

General scope of the job

The M&E support officer is responsible for the operation of the project M&E system at # level (fill in level as appropriate to your context).

Organisational relationships

She/He reports to the M&E coordinator. As with all project staff, she/he is also accountable to primary stakeholder groups.

Responsibilities and tasks

Assist the M&E coordinator and all those involved in project M&E, particularly primary stakeholder groups, in:

  • revising the project objective hierarchy and logframe matrix (activities, processes, inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts);

  • determining information needs of project management, implementing partners and primary stakeholders, the cooperating institution and funding agencies;

  • identifying and designing performance questions, key indicators and targets for each project component and for each level of the objective hierarchy;

  • agreeing how to record, report and analyse progress against the AWPB and designing the format of such progress reports;

  • reviewing existing social and economic data for the project area to assess if it can provide good baseline data for impact evaluation, identifying gaps to be filled;

  • drawing up the TOR, designing and costing out a baseline survey and a needs assessment survey (as appropriate);

  • designing the formats and procedures for operational monitoring;

  • identifying the need and drawing up the TOR for specific evaluation studies,

  • reviewing existing M&E and management information systems of implementing partners and identifying where support is needed;

  • collecting, compiling and analysing reports prepared by implementing partners and preparing consolidated progress reports for project management to submit to the project steering committee, appropriate ministries, cooperating institution and IFAD, in accordance with approved reporting formats;

  • reviewing monitoring reports to assess interim impacts and identify causes of potential bottlenecks in implementation;

  • collaborating with implementing partners and primary stakeholders to develop feasible and effective discussion events where M&E data are analysed and corrective actions can be agreed upon;

  • guiding and supervising organisations that are sub-contracted to implement special surveys or studies required for evaluating project effects and impacts;

  • training on M&E and facilitating M&E design and implementation processes with implementing partners and primary stakeholders;

  • undertaking and facilitating others to implement the M&E plan, regularly revising and updating performance questions, indicators, methods, formats and analytical processes.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Degree in relevant discipline

  • At least two years of experience in: participatory assessment and monitoring, data processing or analysis and computer experience, training, facilitation and communication skills, and M&E design experience

  • Ability to organise and train office staff

  • For community assessment and for project design, evaluation and implementation: good contextual knowledge of local issues, community priorities and social and cultural constraints and realities

District/Regional Level M&E Officer

General scope of the job

The district/regional level officer is in charge of all monitoring and evaluation data collection activities, survey work and analytical sessions undertaken at his/her level.

Organisational relationships

The district/regional level M&E officer is expected to work closely with and be answerable to the M&E support officer and M&E coordinator (besides answering to the requirements of the ministry from which she/he comes, if not directly contracted by the project). As with all project staff, she/he is accountable to primary stakeholder groups.

Responsibilities and tasks

She/he is responsible for data gathering, district/regional training and facilitation, scheduling, sampling, quality of field staff and the quality implementation and timely submission of all forms and reports. She/He will undertake the routine field checking of the work of enumerators and other M&E-related field staff, supervise quality in the field and ensure data accuracy and completeness. Most importantly, she/he is responsible for ensuring that primary stakeholders are involved to the fullest extent possible in undertaking M&E.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Experience in participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation, training and facilitation, data processing or analysis and computers

  • Ability to organise and train staff

  • Good contextual knowledge of local issues, community priorities, organisational relationships, social and cultural constraints and realities, and environmental conditions

Data Management Officer(s)

General scope of the job

The data management officer is responsible for ensuring field data is gathered and registered, ensuring the quality of data entered and helping to produce initial statistical analyses.

Organisational relationships

The data management officer reports directly to the M&E officer or, in a decentralised project set-up, to the district/regional M&E officer.

Responsibilities and tasks

The data management officer is responsible for obtaining all data from primary sources as stipulated in the M&E plan and for their collation and analysis at the M&E office. She/He will work alongside primary stakeholders to carry out survey assignments, in accordance with agreed-on procedures and standards. She/He will undertake routine quality control checking of own and others’ work. The post will involve considerable extraction and computer entry of data from field reports, as well as some analysis.

Qualifications and experience required

Secondary school education, sound mathematics and language skills (including knowledge/fluency in local dialects), reliable, careful, honest and sincere work attitude, resourcefulness to operate under frequently trying and isolated field circumstances, and good local knowledge.

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E.4 M&E Responsibilities of General Project (and Partner) Staff

Most TORs or job descriptions of general project staff or staff of implementing partners do not include M&E-related clauses. By stipulating certain M&E responsibilities, the project is encouraging all staff to become engaged in the ongoing process of observing, noting and analysing how well the project is doing.

For All Project Staff

General qualifications and experience required

  • An interest in training, on-the-job coaching, learning through exchanges and other forms of reflection to contribute to project M&E

  • An understanding of the contribution of M&E to ensuring project impact

  • Interest in improving M&E skills

Manager(s)

The following applies to various types of project managers, for example, managers of specific project components.

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • Assist in designing and implementing participatory planning processes and procedures.

  • Supervise the generation of local level AWPBs and consolidate into an overall AWPB.

  • In consultation with the M&E officer and other management staff and advisors, liase with primary stakeholders and other staff to ensure a two-way flow of information on implementation.

  • With local organisations, identify the support and resources they need for institutional strengthening, including for M&E, and provide follow-up to ensure support is provided.

  • Facilitate communication between those carrying out field implementation and decision-makers on the number and quality of activities undertaken for each project component.

  • Actively seek to understand problems and unexpected positive/negative impacts, discussing these with primary stakeholders and senior management.

  • Assess field reports to determine possible implications for implementation and agree on corrective action with appropriate decision-makers.

  • Assist with technical preparation and socio-economic appraisal of activities as well as approval of activities submitted by community groups through local councils or implementing NGOs. Make sure quality standards are adhered to and that plans are accompanied by clarity on how M&E will be undertaken.

Gender Officer/Women’s Development Manager

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • Support project management and technical staff in incorporating gender issues in the project M&E system (performance questions, indicators, sampling, methods, procedures, analysis of gender-differentiated implementation and impact).

  • Liase closely, continuously and constructively with primary stakeholders, government ministries, local government, potential contractors and other relevant projects to exchange ideas on the gender-sensitive M&E of project activities, processes and impacts.

  • Work closely with local women’s groups to identify how they do their own M&E and how this can be linked to project M&E in ways that are safe and appropriate. Identify additional resources and support that will enable their active participation.

  • Assist in gender-sensitive participatory planning and support implementation. Ensure women’s issues appear in local plans.

  • Facilitate all field staff and project component managers to communicate information from the field to the appropriate decision-making forum on women’s involvement and performance in activities undertaken in all (sub-) components, processes and impacts.

  • Ensure that training on and facilitation of M&E processes include awareness of how women and men can contribute equally.

  • Arrange for the dissemination of information from M&E data on the degree to which gender-related objectives are being achieved and on the gender-differentiated impact of the project.

Qualifications and experience required

In addition to normal requirements in terms of gender and project management expertise:

  • experience in assessing intra-household dynamics and impacts on diverse age/ethnic/social groups;

  • experience with integrating gender considerations into M&E processes, both in terms of the type of information being sought and in terms of creating spaces in which gender-related implementation and impact issues can be discussed openly and corrective actions agreed upon.

Financial Controller-Administrator

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • In collaboration with the relevant national and state authorities, prepare a scheme of accounts that is computerised and provides management information readily to project management and the M&E coordinator.

  • Establish systems of in-house accounting for those items of the project expenditure that are incurred directly rather than through contracted operations.

  • Support M&E coordinator(s) and officers in implementing expenditure monitoring.

  • Prepare routine financial statements for submission to project management and as necessary to external supervising bodies, such as steering committees, boards, etc.

  • Assist in the preparation of budgets for the AWPB, as necessary.

Technical Component Officer

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • Supervise and coordinate field staff in interacting actively with primary stakeholders to learn how to improve implementation on a continual basis.

  • Participate in the development, regular revision and updating of the information system so progress with the project component can be monitored, problems identified and its impact assessed accurately.
  • Work closely with the M&E officer, gender specialist and field staff to ensure that a feasible and useful M&E process is developed for the component, based on the participation and equity principles of the project.
  • Identify what support is needed to undertake good M&E of the component, and ensure this support is forthcoming.
  • Supervise the M&E of any contractors that are within the scope of the component.

Communication Specialist

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • Prepare a communication strategy for the project by assessing the key information dissemination needs of the main stakeholder groups, identifying the most appropriate medium, frequency, audience and content.

  • Ensure timely, regular and easily accessible communication, such as quarterly newsletters, radio programmes and bulletin boards, which include up-to-date M&E information and are targeted to the audience.

  • Maintain the project Website, including up-to-date M&E information and lessons learned.

  • Respond to the wide variety of information requests from stakeholders in the project area, including the media.

  • Oversee the preparation, printing and dissemination of documents, including liasing with authors, printers and graphic designers.

  • Assist in organising seminars, workshops and other meetings on priority project issues for stakeholders.

  • Work with technical staff and management to ensure that information on progress, problems, impacts and lessons learned are stored in the appropriate location for enabling access to the intended user.

  • Occasionally assist with the work of short-term consultants, facilitating their access to the information they require.

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E.5 M&E Responsibilities of Primary Stakeholder Groups

The type of link between the project and primary stakeholder groups will vary greatly per project. The ideas below do not specify what is needed, for example, for monitoring micro-credit groups or local extension activities. Such issues will require further detailing in any agreement between the project, implementing partners and primary stakeholder groups.

General scope of the relationship

The main M&E contribution of primary stakeholder groups is to provide thorough insights into the relevance, quality and impact of project activities, with a special focus on ensuring the participation and voice of women, the poorest, and marginalised social/ethnic groups.

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related)

  • Participate actively in M&E design events, particularly by identifying the stakeholder group’s information needs and capacities.

  • Negotiate with project staff and implementing partners on what the group will monitor and what support is needed for this to be possible.

  • Ensure that the agreements on group M&E responsibilities are fulfilled.

  • Actively represent the diversity of the group’s opinions in project-related meetings and events.

  • Hold regular local meetings to reflect on project activities and gather opinions on future developments for feedback to project management.

  • Ensure that information on project plans are discussed in the group and that local voices are actively present in relevant decision-making processes.

  • In all the above, ensure that the diversity in the group is respected by allowing space for women, the poorest, and marginalised social/ethnic groups to make a meaningful contribution.

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E.6 TOR for Consultant to Set Up the M&E System

General scope of the job

The M&E consultant will be responsible for establishing and providing ongoing support for implementing the project’s M&E system, in line with IFAD guidelines for M&E.

Organisational relationships

The M&E consultant will be answerable to the project director, with the majority of tasks to be undertaken in collaboration with implementing partners, project staff and, particularly, M&E personnel and primary stakeholder groups to enable a learning process and inclusive decision making and to maximise transparency and accountability. The M&E consultant is expected to work alongside the M&E coordinator, if one has been appointed, but will not have supervisory responsibility in the project. As with all project staff, consultants are accountable to the primary stakeholders of the project.

Operating responsibilities and tasks

Year 1

Note: staffing conditions (quality and quantity) at start-up will determine which of the tasks below are relevant for the consultant to carry out.

  • Define the detailed responsibilities of the M&E unit coordinator and the M&E officers.

  • At start-up, work closely with project management, including implementing partners and primary stakeholders, to revise the project strategy and logframe.

  • At start-up, with key stakeholders, use the revised logframe and project budget to make a detailed design of the M&E system. Include performance questions, information needs, indicators and related targets, methods, sampling procedure and reporting formats and procedures. Ensure that these supplement and link to the existing M&E processes of implementing partners and other stakeholder groups.

  • Draw up TORs to initiate the baseline survey, including methodology preparation, sample selection and staff training if required. If coordinating implementation, supervise data entry and provide preliminary analysis of findings.

  • Recommend suitable professional M&E training for all staff during years 1 and 2, and provide this training where possible.

  • Outline the management information system, define reporting requirements from managers responsible for implementing activities/components and define formats for standard reports (e.g., quarterly and annual reports).

  • Install hardware and software for M&E information and arrange for the training of computer operators.

  • With the main stakeholders, outline a feasible impact assessment approach that will supplement the M&E of other implementing partners. It will have at least two components: primary stakeholder assessment of project impact and self-assessment by staff (project and implementing partners) of project impact.

  • Define the need for specific M&E studies.

  • Define how often and how the M&E system will be revised and improved, as well as whose responsibility this is.

  • Identify agencies in the public and private sectors with the capabilities and experience relevant for implementing specific ad-hoc M&E studies.

  • Ensure that the M&E system is based on a learning orientation and is focused around the needs of the decision-makers to manage for impact. Reach agreement on when reflections and information analysis will take place and with whom.

Intermediate year(s)

  • Ensure that M&E activities are appropriate and take account of the evolution of the project and of stakeholders’ needs and capacities.

  • Together with those implementing it, identify problems with the M&E system and modify the system, as necessary.

  • Provide refresher training on M&E, as necessary.

  • Oversee the design and development of mid-term field studies.

  • Assess if M&E findings are being used to make decisions and increase project impact. If necessary, identify what can be undertaken to ensure this happens.

  • Review the results of completed surveys and assist in report preparation.

  • Assist with the mid-term evaluation/review.

  • Ensure that staff and implementing partners are receiving adequate support to be able to implement their M&E functions and that data collection and analysis is on schedule and proving useful to the end-users. In consultation with the users, make recommendations for adaptation, if needed.

Final project year

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of the completion evaluation. This includes a participatory impact assessment with primary stakeholders, in which lessons learned are identified for a possible next phase or for similar projects elsewhere.

Working conditions and time schedule

Note: for a consultant you will need to decide how many months per year and in which year you will require his/her input. Stipulate that the actual timing of Technical Assistance visits will be decided during the initial input and should be based on project needs. This could look something like: "A total of # person months, covering a six-month period at start-up to execute a baseline survey and monitoring system design; then one month of annual inputs in all subsequent years for relevant support in M&E implementation, refinement and analysis; and a final six-month input for the completion evaluation study".

Note: stipulate where the consultant will be based. For example, "The consultant will be based at the project coordination office and will also travel to field sites with M&E personnel as required."

Qualifications and experience required

She/He must have:

  • a solid understanding of rural development, with a focus on participatory processes, joint management and gender issues;
  • familiarity with and a supportive attitude towards processes of strengthening local organisations and building local capacities for self-management;
  • willingness to undertake regular field visits and interact with different stakeholders, especially primary stakeholders;
  • computer skills;

  • leadership qualities and personnel and team management skills (including mediation and conflict resolution).

She/He must also have:

  • a degree in relevant areas, for example, agricultural economics, rural development management;

  • a minimum of eight years of professional experience in developing and implementing M&E systems in similar projects;
  • proven experience with the logical framework approach and other strategic planning approaches, M&E methods and approaches (including quantitative, qualitative and participatory), training in M&E development and implementation, facilitating learning-oriented analysis sessions of M&E data with multiple stakeholders, information analysis and report writing.

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E.7 TOR for Consultant on Participatory M&E

General scope of the job

The main purpose of this consultant is to facilitate the primary stakeholder group and project staff in developing a participatory M&E system that:

  • can be handled by primary stakeholders and field staff;

  • considers the information needs of project management and implementers;

  • generates sufficiently reliable and useful information about economic, socio-cultural and environmental project impact;

  • produces information for primary stakeholders that helps them better manage and own the project;

  • can be run at minimum cost, replacing less effective elements of the existing M&E system;

  • fits well with the existing M&E system of the project, building upon existing experience and capacities and incorporating informal M&E systems already within stakeholder groups.

Organisational relationships

The participatory M&E consultant will be answerable to the project director. The majority of tasks will be undertaken in collaboration with staff of implementing partners – particularly those responsible for M&E – and primary stakeholder groups to enable a learning process, ensure inclusive decision making and maximise transparency and accountability. The M&E consultant is expected to work closely with the M&E coordinator(s) on participatory M&E issues and without supervisory responsibility in the project. All project staff and consultants are accountable to the primary stakeholders of the project.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Identify the needs in the project, among staff, implementing partners and primary stakeholders, with regard to developing more participatory forms of M&E.

  • Work with project staff and implementing partners to identify what can be changed and how this can best be undertaken, and to make the learning processes more inclusive of primary stakeholders and other relevant groups.

  • Work with primary stakeholders to develop locally relevant indicators and methods that allow impact assessment and contribute to the institutional strengthening of their organisations.

  • As necessary, prepare and train staff, primary stakeholders and implementing partners on reflective learning events, participatory monitoring and/or participatory impact assessment including any methodological training and piloting of methods, data collection techniques, data processing and information analysis.

Specific responsibilities related to primary stakeholder self-evaluation

  • Work closely with primary stakeholder groups to identify purpose of self-evaluation, key information needs, methods and formats for data collection and analysis.

  • If necessary, develop a communication strategy for sharing M&E results with others.

  • Discuss with staff how self-evaluation results are to feed into ongoing assessments and the organisational development of the project.

  • Document results and main elements of the approach, with project staff.

  • Provide training, if desirable, for those responsible among the primary stakeholders and the project staff or implementing partners for guiding the self-evaluation process.

  • Develop appropriate support material with primary stakeholders.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Similar to E.5, but at least four years of experience with participatory planning and M&E processes are also needed.

  • Good communication and facilitation skills.

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E.8 TOR for Consultant on Information Management

General scope of the job

The main contribution of this consultant will be to develop the main tools for data collection, recording and management in ways that are locally feasible, enable as much open access to information as possible and are flexible enough to allow updating as information needs evolve.

Organisational relationships

The consultant will be answerable to the project director, with tasks to be undertaken with relevant implementing partners, project staff – particularly those with M&E functions – and primary stakeholder groups to enable a learning process, ensure inclusive decision making and maximise transparency and accountability. The consultant will be expected to work closely with the M&E coordinator(s) and will not have supervisory responsibility in the project. All project staff and consultants are accountable to the primary stakeholders of the project.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Base recommendations for and implementation of systems for information management on the existing M&E system or plans. She/He will do this by assessing the current state of project M&E and of performance questions and indicators, the objective hierarchy and assumptions, and by considering who is using/will use this information.

  • Revise the information needs of all key stakeholders that need to be integrated into the local database.

  • Refine, if necessary, the methods for regular information collection and for special studies arising from project needs.

  • Reach agreement on where data will be entered, who will have access and who will provide statistical analysis (where and when).

  • Define the principal automated outputs that the system should provide, based on funding agency and ministry requirements (and related to results, objectives, impact, lessons learned and corrective actions needed/taken).

  • Define the choice of software according to database requirements, degree of user-friendliness, possibilities of updating the database and the technical facilities available in the field.

  • Develop recommendations and TOR for additional information specialists to maintain the database.

  • Make # (to be agreed with project director) return visits to the project to review information management and make adjustments, as necessary.

  • If necessary, install hardware and software for M&E information and arrange for training of computer operators.

Qualifications and experience required

  • Computer/Data processing specialisation, with at least five years of experience setting up and maintaining management information systems in rural development projects.

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E.9 TOR for Implementing Partner (M&E Component Only)

General scope of the job

The main M&E role of the implementing partners will be to ensure that the component/activity for which they are responsible is adequately monitored in a timely fashion, based on active participation of local groups and continual corrective actions to improve impact.

Organisational relationships

The implementing partner will be answerable to the project director and will work closely with project technical staff and M&E staff to ensure M&E increases impact. It will be accountable, in terms of its work, to the primary stakeholders with whom it is working.

Responsibilities and tasks (M&E-related and focusing on the component for which the implementing partner is responsible)

  • Work closely with project director to organise a start-up workshop with stakeholders, especially primary stakeholders, during which the learning-oriented and participatory nature of M&E is discussed.

  • Work with the M&E coordinator/project director on developing the M&E system via a process in which (representatives of) primary stakeholders make a critical contribution.

  • Understand existing M&E needs and processes among primary stakeholders and integrate these with project M&E needs and processes to form one complementary project M&E system.

  • Work closely with primary stakeholders and project M&E staff to initiate and guide the process of transferring M&E to local organisations, providing required support to strengthen capacities.

  • Facilitate learning exchanges and information dissemination between project coordination and primary stakeholders, working with other projects, funding agencies and government ministries.

  • Fulfil all contractual requirements in terms of M&E data gathering, analysis, report writing and the extent and quality of participatory processes.

  • Participate in special evaluation studies, supervision missions and external evaluations as agreed at the onset of the project.

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E.10 TOR for Mid-Term Review

General scope

A mid-term review (MTR) will assess operational aspects, such as project management and implementation of activities and also the extent to which objectives are being fulfilled. It will focus on corrective actions needed for the project to achieve impact. It will be a decisive review to evaluate whether a project should be continued to a second phase.

Organisational relationships

The MTR team leader will be answerable to the funding agency (and possibly the cooperating institution) and will work closely with the project director, implementing partner management and M&E staff to design and undertake the review. The project will provide key background documentation to the team (project appraisal report, president report and recommendations, supervision mission reports, any progress reports, M&E reports and special studies, background information on the project area, etc.).

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Before starting, be thoroughly familiar with the project (objectives, outputs, previous phases including previous activities, outputs, problems, budget time schedule, context, etc.).

  • Consult with the project director on how the review mission will be best conducted, how implementing partners, project staff and primary stakeholders will be involved, what the timetable is for fieldwork and reporting, and how feedback on the conclusions will be organised.

  • Agree with project management and funding agencies on the methodology of the review, in terms of: (1) the level of participation vis-à-vis management of the process, data collection, data analysis, drawing conclusions/supplying recommendations and giving reactions to draft conclusions and (2) the methodology to be followed (sequence of workshops, seminars, interviews, questionnaires, participatory techniques, etc.).

  • Agree what the MTR will address, for example, the relevance of the project to local development priorities and needs; clarity and feasibility of project objectives (including targets); prospects for sustainability; quality and adequacy of project strategy (including logical consistency, clarity of assumptions and risks, quality of external relationships, cost-effectiveness; and the quality of participatory processes and support to strengthening local organisations.

Note: the elements below are commonly found in MTRs but will vary per MTR.

  • Per component, assess physical progress, efficiency and adequacy, in terms of delivery of project inputs and outputs.

  • Per component, analyse financial progress. Assess whether the use of project funds is commensurate with the attainment of physical progress, efficacy and the timeliness of procurement and disbursement activities.

  • Assess the efficiency of project organisation and management with respect to its size and composition, organisational structure, personnel management and policy, the qualifications of local staff and consultants, reporting, effectiveness of the M&E system (in defining performance indicators and collecting and analysing monitoring data on project progress) and follow-up on primary stakeholders’ reactions to project activities.

  • Assess the relevance and effectiveness of technical assistance and training given to primary stakeholders and staff in relation to design objectives, and the extent to which they have been given based on needs assessment and followed up on to determine their impact.

  • Assess the quality of cooperation with institutions and effectiveness of coordination mechanisms, with respect to composition and membership of coordination committees, and contribution to timely decision making and problem solving. Changes in project design in this respect will be thoroughly assessed.

  • Assess degree of compliance with loan agreement.

  • Analyse which factors and constraints have influenced project implementation, including technical, managerial, organisational, institutional and socio-economic policy issues, in addition to other external factors unforeseen during design.

  • Assess project results and impacts, in terms of development outcomes, based on the project’s actual and potential development impact on the primary stakeholder groups, relevant institutions and wider context. This includes identifiable benefits for primary stakeholders – including wider livelihood and capacity-building – in terms of depth, spread and gender, primary stakeholder participation and environmental concerns.

  • Assess the prospects of the local primary and secondary stakeholders and host institutions for sustaining impacts after termination of the project, taking into account old and new assumptions and risks.

  • Make an overall assessment of project cost effectiveness.

  • Identify where project design needs adjusting/reorienting in order to increase its effectiveness in reaching the target groups. This includes proposals to adjust the project objectives and strategy, activities, budget and inputs, organisational/institutional set-up and implementation plan.

  • Assess the performance of funding and supervising agencies in terms of quality of supervision, efficiency in loan administration, ability to anticipate problems and extend implementation support, adequacy of reporting, recommendations and effectiveness of follow-up on recommendations. Identify how this has affected project performance.

  • Produce a clear set of lessons learned that can benefit the project in its remaining lifespan.

Qualifications and experience required

The MTR team should include diverse professional expertise (various disciplines) and methodological skills (local development, empowerment, experience with MTRs, workshop facilitation, participatory research, gender competence, etc.) as well as knowledge of the region/country.

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About Evaluation Programme of Work
Strategy, Process & Methodology

Evaluation Knowledge System

A Guide for Project M&E  

 

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