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Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Some Tools, Methods and Approaches

Government officials, development managers and civil society are increasingly aware of the value of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of development activities. M&E provides a better means of learning from past experience, improving service delivery, planning and allocating resources, and demonstrating results as part of accountability to key stakeholders. Yet there is often confusion about what M&E entails. This booklet therefore presents a sample of M&E tools, methods and approaches, including several data collection methods, analytical frameworks, and types of evaluation and review. For each of these, a summary is provided of the following: their purpose and use; advantages and disadvantages; costs, skills, and time required; and key references. The booklet discusses:

Performance indicators
The logical framework (logframe) approach
Theory-based evaluation
Formal surveys
Rapid appraisal methods
Participatory methods
Public expenditure tracking surveys
Impact evaluation
Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis

This second edition of the M&E booklet includes an expanded discussion of various types of impact evaluation. The booklet is available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

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Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Some Tools, Methods and Approaches

A related publication is Influential Evaluations: Evaluations that Improved the Performance and Impacts of Development Programs. This provides 8 case studies of evaluations and reviews which have had a significant impact. For many of these, it has been possible to compare the costs of conducting the evaluation and the economic benefits produced, and to show that the evaluation was a highly cost-effective tool for improving program management and for supporting government resource allocation decisions. The publication provides a summary of lessons learned about how to ensure evaluations are utilized intensively. A companion volume, in preparation, presents the 8 case studies and utilization lessons in more detail.

Influential Evaluations: Evaluations that Improved the Performance and Impacts of Development Programs


NEW! Influential Evaluations: Detailed Case Studies This companion volume discusses 8 case studies in depth. It presents key lessons about how to design evaluations which are influential.

Related publications are available from IEG's website on evaluation capacity development.

For general questions about IEG products and services, please contact the IEG help desk.

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