Management of a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system is a critical function in international development institutions such as CTA. CTA’s goals for investing in a strong M&E system are to promote accountability, learning, decision-making and visibility.
CTA’s Learning Monitoring and Evaluation (LME) Unit was established in 2011 as a separate entity from the programmes, with overall responsibility for promoting organisational learning, supporting programme planning and overseeing project-based evaluations. Between 2012 and 2015 the Unit commissioned five major independent project-specific evaluations and 14 joint impact studies of CTA’s long-term support to partner organisations. Following the formulation of CTA’s 2016–2020 Strategic Plan, which included a fully-fledged corporate logframe, the Unit’s focus shifted to accompanying projects and programmes in planning for and demonstrating impact.
This project completion report focusses on the Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment project, which the LME Unit created to systematically capture results data relating to the Centre’s entire project portfolio from 2016 to 2020. The project follows a systemic approach with four interrelated components: M&E planning, Data capture, Data management and Reporting results. The project linked these four components systemically to create CTA’s Results Data Management System (RDMS). The project also supported in-house training in M&E aimed at enhancing staff skills. These project components with their main corresponding outputs can be presented as follows:
- M&E planning: RDMS, revised corporate logframe, 35 project-specific logframes, 15 project-specific M&E plans.
- M&E data collection: 14 baselines studies, 4 project evaluations, 4 impact assessments, project monitoring data.
- M&E data management: Validated data on corporate and project-specific indicators accessible in DELTA (CTA’s project management database).
- Reporting results: Four narrative reports for CTA’s Action Grant submitted and approved in a timely manner; 80 success stories and impact stories published, including social media postings; Power BI (Microsoft business analytics service) reports and dashboards on logframe.
- Skills enhancement: Training materials in M&E; 30 CTA staff trained, coached or advised in M&E/knowledge-management (KM) practices; 8 tools (glossaries, indicator fiches, guidelines, briefs, etc.) to support M&E activities.
The outputs promoted learning and accountability, enabled project leaders and senior management to make informed decisions, and helped to enhance CTA’s visibility.