A guide for project M&E

The M&E Guide was produced by the Independent Office of Evaluation to help project managers and M&E staff improve the quality of M&E in IFAD-supported projects. The Guide focuses on how M&E can support project management and engage project stakeholders in understanding project progress, learning from achievements and problems, and agreeing how to improve strategy and operations. It involves the creation of an M&E system that helps primary stakeholders, implementing partners and project staff learn together in order to improve their development interventions. The ultimate objective is to ensure the maximum possible benefit for the rural poor – those best placed to assess project impact – and the guide suggests ideas for implementing various forms of participatory M&E.

M&E is a management tool for those who manage anything from a small project component to an entire project.

Setting up a good M&E system requires careful thinking, in particular about how to manage the linkages between different project elements and partners. The guide offers practical ideas to help manage for impact. Many issues faced in project management or when setting up a useful M&E system are affected by the original project design: the guide thus deals with good project design and management practices from an M&E perspective. It will help project implementers, including primary stakeholders, to:

  • clarify what impact a project is expected to have how it will be achieved

  • decide how progress and impact will be assessed

  • gather and analyse the necessary information for tracking progress and impact

  • explain the reasons for success and failure and

  • agree on how best to use this understanding to improve future action.