Decoupling Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)

1 month 3 days ago #8 by KJLim
For decades, development agencies and scholars have been emphasising the importance of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in the implementation of development policies, programs and projects. A lot of literature can attest to this fact.

While the M&E couple has always been spoken in the same breath, the focus is more on Monitoring rather than M&E. Many reasons for why Monitoring is favoured and Evaluation is shunned. Many M&E conferences and forums have belaboured on this issue.

The current CoVID 19 pandemic has shown us that every aspect of society has been disrupted. The speed and spread of infection by the virus around the globe is so astounding that national governments, business corporations, communities and individuals are forced to adopt new, innovative measures including introducing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The term "new normals" becomes the buzzword of the day.

From observations of various measures undertaken by public health authorities in order to flatten the curve of the CoVID infections, the act of Monitoring alone is not enough and it is being strengthened by Control (C) actions. While the focus of attention is on Monitoring and Control (M&C) with lots of resources and efforts pouring into M&C, the Evaluation should not be given the back seat again.

In fact, real-time Evaluation should be the order of the day for more effective M&C implementation. Improvement(I) to the M&C measures should be carried out on an on- going basis. Continuous improvement is only possible with Evaluation.

In conclusion, for development efforts to be effective and sustainable, I think that M&E should be decoupled with introduction of new partners - Monitoring (M) with Control (C) and Evaluation(E) with Improvement(I). This is should be the new normal for M&E.

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