Useable M&E information


M&E is not an end in itself.  It should serve a means…a means to learning and being accountable. 

So, unless M&E processes/tools render information that is actually used by someone to further these ends, they are an unethical waste of resources.

So what does ‘utilisable’ M&E information actually mean?

I suspect that there are at least fourcontributing factors:

  • Relevant: does the information fundamentally meet a need?  Is it perceived as important/valuable by someone (an information ‘client’)?
  • Accurate: can the information be trusted? 
  • Timely: is the information delivered (to the information ‘client’) within a timeframe that permits action to be taken? 
  • Accessible: is the information provided in a format that allows people (the information ‘clients’) to easily make sense of it?  Is it useable? 

These four factors can be used as a checklist to determin whether or not proposed M&E data is worthwhile collecting.  They can also be used as a ‘trouble-shooting’ checklist to establish why certain prescribed M&E information is not being used. 

What we know is that if any one of these four factors is weak or missing, the value of M&E information is significantly eroded.

Recent Content

link to The 'theory of change' approach

The 'theory of change' approach

For a long time, I’ve been using the phrase ‘theory of change’ to express the idea that a project is essentially a social experiment, and that M&E is about testing the hypotheses implicit in the social experiment.  Recently I was challenged to succinctly elaborate what I thought embodied the ‘theory of change’ approach.  The following […]