Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

I am an experience Monitoring and Evaluation Practitioner. I describe my understand of M&E and the projects I’ve worked on below the gallery display.

M&E is both science and art in the sense that it involves causal pathway analysis and understanding the relationships between cause and effect, in a way which resembles an epidemiological approach to some extent.

Yet it is an art in the sense that it is creative, unpredictable and requires a big imagination and dreaming of the possibilities of future change and how systems, processes and programmes can be set up to do things differently and have better outcomes, effects and impacts.

Dr Cathy Mungall-Baldwin, November 2021

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a creative, conceptual and
data-driven endeavour. It allows organisations and programmes to visualise
their objectives and goals, and map the expected pathways or routes to changing
a set of circumstances, conditions or intended outcomes. It helps to identify factors
that may perturb, influence or ‘confound’ efforts at achieving change, as well
as enabling factors (or ‘enablers’) that support the journey to move forwards. It
allows those overseeing process or programmes intent on achieving changes from
a current baseline through the interim stages to the end goals. Through the use
of indicators and empirical evidence that measure interim and final
accomplishments, and truthful accounts of the process, it enables the tracking
of progress along the route to change. It facilitates the identification,
analyses and understanding of how the change/changes will be, is being or has
been achieved, and draws out learning for the future. It also enables evaluation
of the quality, quantity or other measures of the success of a programme, whether
it will or has met its goals and ultimate impact.

Most M&E programmes consist of an initial theory of change, a conceptual
theory or vision of the problem to be solved that helps tell the story of how
change should be accomplished, the main objectives and goals, potential routes
to that outcome, the inputs (activities), and barriers/enablers to change and
what the outcomes should look like. It is accompanied by an M&E framework,
a set of measures, metrics, and a strategy for data collection or acquisition –
both quantitative/statistical data for context of scale and qualitative data for
depth of perspective and understanding, that will provide evidence of programme
outputs and outcomes, impacts and achievement of the final goal. Another key
instrument is a logframe, a record of all the measures, metrics and empirical
evidence to be collected at different points along the timeline from programme
inception to programme completion.

M&E practitioners understand that change processes are rarely linear but
can often resemble complex systems or mini ‘universes’ of pathways that
sometimes run parallel and often don’t, but criss-cross or intersect at
particular junctures or nodes. A common goal in contemporary M&E is
providing theories of change which are responsive and adaptable in the light of
the complex and unpredictable world we live in. M&E frameworks need to be
modifiable so as to fully capture unexpected occurrences or slides away from
the originally envisaged change process. However, they need to remain
consistent enough to an original baseline so as to provide a meaningful
analysis of what has developed or been accomplished since it was measured.

I have participated in or led the creation or delivery of M&E processes
for a range of different programmes in the international development and public
health space.

  • Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA), University of Edinburgh, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe
  • Violence Against Women and Girls, Prevention and Response, DfID/FCDO, Malawi
  • Cities and Infrastructure for Economic Growth (CIG), DfID/FCDO, Uganda, Zamiba and Myanmar
  • FCDO/DfID Evaluation Quality Assurance and Learning Services (EQUALS), Panel Member.

I have peer-reviewed terms of reference, evaluations and third party monitoring on the following programmes:

  • DfID random controlled trial of training school teachers, Northern Nigeria
  • DfID social protection programme, Uganda
  • DfID Political attitudes to social protection, Uganda
  • International Citizen Service, global
  • VSO Volunteering for Development, global
  • DfID Climate resilience and weather forecasting services, pan-Asia.
  • DfID BRACE II – food security and climate resilience, South Sudan.
  • Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). UK Partnerships for Accelerated Climate Transformation (PACT).
  • DfID ASCEND – neglected tropical disease prevention in 20 countries.
  • Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Afghanistan.
  • DFID JOBA Skills development for employment training in Mozambique
  • Cambodia Conservation and Human Well-being
  • Syrian Humanitarian Aid
  • Syria Independent Monitoring II
  • Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa
  • Lafiya Health Programme, Nigeria
  • ODI Fellowship Scheme for Economists