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.