Monitoring & Evaluation
As actors who play a major role in not only managing, but also raising considerable amounts of aid resources, international NGOs have a responsibility to demonstrate that they are achieving results. The need to better measure what aid is (or is not) achieving has become a major focus for a wide range of development actors, both domestically and internationally, especially as foreign aid resources come under strain.
InterAction’s Evaluation and Program Effectiveness Working Group (EPEWG) is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of our members to measure and demonstrate their effectiveness, and to informing donor policies and practices on monitoring and evaluation. The group also serves as a forum for InterAction members to exchange information on tools, good practices, and experiences in topics of interest.
Our current areas of focus include:
- Development of local monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity
Use of evaluation results, and emphasizing the use of evaluation for learning (and not just accountability)
Local ownership in evaluation
NGO Accountability: The EPEWG aims to both strengthen NGO accountability – particularly to local partners and those we serve – and to improve how NGO accountability is measured.
The working group also closely follows the work of the U.S. government on monitoring and evaluation, particularly as this issue has gained greater prominence within agencies like USAID and the Department of State.
The EPEWG is open to InterAction members only. Non-members are welcome to join our Evaluation Interest Group (EIG), which receives our monthly evaluation newsletter and is invited to participate in certain EPEWG events. To join either the EPEWG or EIG listserv, or for additional information on our work in this area, please contact Laia Grino.
- Impact evaluation guidance note and webinar series, developed with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation (most guidance notes are available in French, Spanish and Arabic as well as English)
- Tips for Effectively Engaging Program Staff in Impact Evaluation
- Tips for Selecting and Working with Impact Evaluation Research Partners
- Presentation: When are Impact Evaluations Appropriate and Feasible? (video)
- Presentation: Designing Impact Evaluations: What are the appropriate research questions and methods? (video)
- Presentation: Assessing Threats to Validity and Implications for Use of Impact Evaluation Findings (video)
Measuring Agency Level Results
Since 2012, the EPEWG has held a series of meetings and webinars on measuring agency level results. Below is a list of resources from those, and related, meetings.
- In October 2014, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Pact and Save the Children presented on their approaches at the American Evaluation Association conference.
- In preparation for a session at InterAction's 2014 Forum, members of the EPEWG produced a document of key framing points meant to help organizations think through their options when developing agency level measurement systems. The document touches on issues related to motivations, organizational context, assumptions, approaches, and challenges/risks.
- In August 2013, Save the Children, Pact and World Vision shared their approach to agency level measurement.
- In April 2013, ACDI/VOCA, Catholic Relief Services, and Mercy Corps updated the working group on their progress with measuring agency level results. The webinar recording is available here.
- In December 2012, Mission Measurement shared findings from their research and client experiences with agency-wide measurement approaches. You can find the webinar recording here and the presentation slides here.
- InterAction Forum 2012 presentation on “Measuring Agency-Level Results: Can it work, and does it matter?” The session featured presenters from ACDI/VOCA, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps and Save the Children. An overview document prepared for the session is available here.
- Embracing Evaluative Thinking for Better Outcomes: Four NGO Case Studies
- Sub-Saharan Africa Practitioner Workshop on Evaluative Thinking and Evaluation Use
3ie: 3ie, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, focuses on generating high quality evidence that contributes to effective policies for the poor. It serves a dual role as a funding agency for impact evaluations, and a knowledge broker.
ALNAP: ALNAP, the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action, seeks to improve humanitarian performance through increased learning and accountability.
American Evaluation Association: The American Evaluation Association (AEA) is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Among other things, it offers virtual professional development opportunities, including: 20-minute long webinars or "Coffee Break Demonstrations" designed to introduce audience members to new tools, techniques, and strategies in the field of evaluation, and eStudy webinars, 3- or 6-hour webinars provided by evaluation’s top presenters in multiple 90-minute sessions.
BetterEvaluation: BetterEvaluation is an international collaboration to improve evaluation practice and theory by sharing information about options (methods or tools) and approaches.
MEASURE Evaluation: MEASURE Evaluation is the USAID Global Health Bureau's primary vehicle for supporting improvements in monitoring and evaluation in population, health and nutrition worldwide. MEASURE Evaluation has developed and applied a variety of tools to improve decision-making in the health sector, and also offer in-person and online trainings.
MyMandE: MyMandE aims to share knowledge on country-led M&E systems worldwide through an online platform. It facilitates the strengthening of a global community, while identifying good practices and lessons learned about monitoring and evaluation in general, and country-led M&E systems in particular. MyMandE has offered several e-learning courses on topics such as development evaluation, equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluation, and emerging practices in development evaluation.