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Mobilizing Assets for Community Driven Development. Coady International Institute 2012. Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring and Evaluation. What have been the joys and challenges of monitoring and evaluation in your organisation ?. Joys. Challenges. Why? What is the purpose of M&E?.

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Mobilizing Assets for Community Driven Development

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Mobilizing Assets for Community Driven Development

Coady International Institute


Coady International Institute 2011

Monitoring and Evaluation

Coady International Institute 2011

Monitoring and Evaluation

What have been the joys and challenges of monitoring and evaluation in your organisation?

Coady International Institute 2011


Coady International Institute 2011


Coady International Institute 2011

Why? What is the purpose of M&E?

  • Decision-making

  • Affirmation

  • Learning

  • Accountability

    When? Who? and How?

    depends on what decisionsare being made by whom

Coady International Institute 2011

Two different monitoring and evaluation issues:

1. How will you monitor and evaluate an asset-based approach for your own decision-making purposes?

What change do you expect to see?

How will you measure it?

2. How will you help community members monitor and evaluate their own activities for their decision-making purposes?

What changes do they expect to see?

How will they measure it?

Coady International Institute 2011

Accept that there is uncertainty!

  • Predicted, planned, controlled change

  • Unplanned, unpredicted, evolving change

    Monitoring and Evaluation has to be able to deal with both.

Coady International Institute 2011

Planned Change

  • Requires a theory of change

Coady International Institute 2011

Coady International Institute 2011

Monitoring planned change: What is the theory of change?

  • Community objective:

    • to protect and extend land available for food production.

  • “Theory of change”

    • If we establish and maintain a tree nursery, a plentiful supply of lucaena seedlings can be produced.

    • With a plentiful supply of seedlings, vulnerable areas can be planted with tree cover, preventing soil erosion and protecting soil quality.

    • In this way, land for food production can be protected and extended, improving food security in our community.

Coady International Institute 2011

Coady International Institute 2011

From measurable objectives to indicators

Coady International Institute 2012

Tools and methods for PM&E

Coady International Institute 2012

Monitoring and evaluating evolving and unpredicted change: Most Significant Change technique

  • A form of participatory monitoring and evaluation

  • Does not use predefined indicators

  • Assumes that development and change “evolve” – not all of it can be deliberately planned (i.e predicted and controlled)

  • Asks what have been significant changes (description) and why they are significant (evaluation)

Coady International Institute 2012

M and E of evolving change, sometimes unplanned and unexpected

Coady International Institute 2011

In your lifetime, what has been the most significant change in gender relations in your community?

Tell a story that illustrates that change. Explain why you think it is most signfiicant

Coady International Institute 2011

Essential features

  • Asks participants to consider most significant changes in a set period. These can be positive or negative

  • Asks participants to share stories that illustrate those significant changes

  • Asks participants to select the stories that best illustrate significant change

  • Helps participants think through the implications for decision-making

  • Submit all selected stories to next decision-making level

  • All decision-makers have opportunity to evaluate and select changes of significance.

Coady International Institute 2012

Basic Steps

  • Deciding the frequency of the MSC exercise

  • Generating interest and deciding who to involve

  • Phrasing the question

  • Deciding on broad areas of change to be explored

  • Collecting and selecting stories

  • Communicating to all decision-making levels

  • Repeating the process

Coady International Institute 2012

1 project, 1 project management team (senior staff), 4 field workers, 20 villages, 1000 people


Coady International Institute 2012


  • In your lifetime, what have been the most significant changes in gender relations in your home community?

    • Each person should tell a story that illustrates what he or she thinks is THE most significant change, and say why it is significant.

Coady International Institute 2012


  • It is a means of identifying unexpected changes.

  • It is a way to clearly identify values that prevail in an organization or community.

  • Compared to other monitoring approaches, it is easy to communicate across cultures. There is no need to explain what an indicator is. Everyone can tell stories about events they think were important.

  • It encourages analysis as well as data collection because people have to explain why they believe one change is more important than another.

Coady International Institute 2012


  • It can deliver a rich picture of what is happening, rather than an overly simplified picture where change is reduced to a single number.

  • It can be used to monitor and evaluate bottom-up initiatives that do not have predefined outcomes against which to evaluate.

  • It is a systematic and rigorous method

Coady International Institute 2012

Most Significant Change: Credits

  • Rick Davies (

  • Jessica Dart (

    To join the yahoo listserv:


    To read the original paper on MSC:


Coady International Institute 2012

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