Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is frequently seen as an activity that donors require. It is, however, far more critical than what this common view suggests. In reality, Monitoring and evaluation is an important part of the program management cycle.
The program cycle
During the planning stage, organizations determine the objectives for their programs and identify the impact they want their program beneficiaries to experience. During the implementation stage, organizations carry out programs and services that align with the strategic plan and help the organization to accomplish its objectives and mission. In the midst of the execution stage, organizations have to monitor progress toward objectives and goals, compliance with donor agreements, and adherence to the needs of beneficiaries all within budget constraints. At some agreed upon date, programs need to be evaluated for impact. Lessons learned through monitoring and evaluation are integrated into the next planning stage to build stronger and more effective programs.
This section is based on the understanding of M&E as they relate to the work of Asylum Access. It will also provide you with some guidance on best practices generally in program monitoring and evaluation. You can also look at the Advocate sections to follow Asylum Access’s process for the implementation of M&E systems.