A Practical, User-Friendly Monitoring and Evaluation Guide

For anyone looking for an easy to use, practical guide to creating and using a monitoring and evaluation system for development projects, the original M&E Guide from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a document worth downloading.

It was updated in 2015, but the original IFAD M&E Guide is still available, and I recommend it to anyone looking for step-by step guidance in developing and implementing a results-based monitoring and evaluation system – for a large organization or a small one, for a programme or an individual project.

The fact that it was originally aimed at people obviously working on agricultural projects is no barrier to the rest of us, because the writing is clear, and the guide is comprehensive. 

It was developed not just for project directors and Monitoring and Evaluation staff, but for government and civil society partners at the community level, providing step-by-step guidance and numerous examples on how to do things such as

  • Incorporating monitoring and evaluation in project design
  • Writing the M&E plan
  • Deciding what to monitor
  • Developing logical frameworks,
  • Choosing different research methods suitable for collecting data on different types of indicators,
  • Developing an annual work plan
  • Linking M&E to budget development
  • Assessing strengths and weaknesses of indicator variations,…
  • and even sample job descriptions and terms of reference for people being recruited to work as project directors, M&E staff, consultants and evaluators assigned to different tasks.

The 2015 version, as I noted above is also available, but I find the 2002 guide easier to work with.

Newer versions exist, but the 2002 IFAD M&E Guide is the easiest to use.

Craig Zelizer

Craig Zelizer

Dr. Craig Zelizer is the Founder of PCDN.global, which connects a global community of changemakers to the tools, community and opportunities to build careers of impact and scale change. He has strong experience in the development sector, academia and social entrepreneurship. From 2005 to 2016 he served as a professor in the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University (where he still teaches). He has led trainings, workshops and consultancies in over 20 countries organizations including with USIP, USAID, CRS, Rotary International and others. Craig is a recognized leader in the social sector field. He has received several awards including George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s alumni of the year award and an alumni career achievement award from Central European University. Dr. Zelizer spent two years in Hungary as Fulbright Scholar and was a Boren Fellow in Bosnia. He has published widely on peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, and innovation in higher education.
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