Indicators Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting Results Based Management

A Guide for Creating Effective Progress Reports

Writing reports can often feel like a tedious task. We’ve all been there – staring at a blank page, struggling to find the right words to convey our message. And if we’re bored while writing it, just imagine how other people will feel when they read it. Clearly, we’re doing something wrong. But reporting is […]

Results Based Management

5 Pillars of Results Managment

Results are great. Results Based Management is GREAT! Not all would agree, I know. The reason: it is not done right! Most of the time … Voila, I present to you: The five pillars of practical RBM! If you are a manager, a planner, or an M&E specialist or consultant, there are five pillars – […]

Planning for M&E Results Based Management

The results chain: a beginner’s guide

Monitoring and Evaluation are about measuring and tracking results. That is why it is important to understand what results are, and how to distinguish between different levels of the results chain. In general, a “result” is something that happens or exists because of something else that has happened: In development and governance, we use a more nuanced understanding of different types of ‘results’: the so-called result chain. The results chain distinguished between […]

Policy advocacy

Measuring policy advocacy

Monitoring policy work is tricky. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s not impossible – and certainly can be useful. Here is a proposal of how it can be done. We need a tool! This tool measures the extent to which an organization has influenced changes in policies. It can be used to monitor advocacy at the outcome level. The tool allows […]

Programme design

How to formulate strong outputs

Outputs are arguably not the most important level of the results chain. It is outcomes that should be the focus of a good plan. Ultimately, that´s what counts. However, outputs still matter. Just to be clear: Simply put, outputs refer to changes in skills or abilities or the availability of new products and services. In plain lingo: Outputs are what we […]

Impact measurement

The 5-Step Guide to measure impact

Impact. You know the feeling don’t you – you’ve been working on a brilliant initiative, and then someone turns up and asks you “So – what impact are you making”? It’s a fair question – indeed, it’s a question we should be asking ourselves. If we are not making a difference, we are wasting our […]

Indicators Planning for M&E

Indicators: choose the right angle

Once we have agreed on a clever, limited set of indicators, all seems good. However, we are not yet there. For most indicators, we can choose a specific ‘angle’.

Communication Reporting

Use change language in reports

An engaging report uses ‘change language’ instead of action language. Hunh? Ok, it’s not as complicated as these big words suggest. Language matters. Let’s look at it closer: ACTION LANGUAGE Action language reflects the completion of a series of activities. An example of action language is: “XYZ supported the peer education of 150,000 girls on […]

Communication Reporting

Five tips for good report writing

Do you hate report writing? Fed up with writing long, detailed reports that nobody seems to read? But the truth is: report writing IS important. And it can be exciting :-). It can showcase what we have achieved. It is important to show those that have provided the money – taxpayers, communities, donors, charities, etc. […]

Theory of Change

7 principles of a Theory of Change

A good theory of change (ToC) is based on seven principles: 1. Repeat doing it until you get it right, 2. links are as important as expected changes, 3. risk and assumptions are key, 4. it must be scalable, 5. it is not a results chain, 6. organisations often already have ToCs in place which […]

Planning Results Based Management

A Theory of Change

Probably as an inevitable result of the buzz in the past few years, many Theories of Change are often useless. One reason for that is – is my feeling – that they are typically not developed in a logical sequence: without a thorough problem analysis, with a possible intervention already in mind, just as the […]

Adaptive programming Innovation

Stop overthinking: Minimum Viable Product

MINIMUM WHAT?!? Ok. What are we talking about? A minimum viable product – MVP in short – is a product with just enough features to gather validated learning about a possible intervention or product. It is deliberately imperfect; any additional work on it beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have […]

Innovation Planning

Innovative programme design

It has always been clear to me: Monitoring and Evaluation depends to a large extent on how development or government programmes are planned and designed. That is why good M&E is strongly linked with good planning and design. In a way, programme design is a natural extension of our skill set in M&E. That is why this blog […]

Data collection Measurement

The Age of Data

Data, information and knowledge Professional Monitoring and Evaluation is based on hard facts: data, information, knowledge and understanding. Let us take a closer look at these concepts: WHAT IS DATA? As you will know, data is a collection of objective facts, such as numbers, words, images, measurements, observations or even just descriptions of things. In other words: Data is chunks of […]

Data collection

Our toolbox for primary data collection

To collect primary data (data that we need to collect first ourselves), we can rely on a rather sophisticated toolbox– largely from social sciences – that has been developed over decades. There are tools for quantitative and qualitative data collection. Here is a list of some of the important tools available to us: What to learn more about how to monitor results? Check […]


Measuring = reducing uncertainty

A lot of what we do in Monitoring and Evaluation is related to measuring. And that’s the problem: Many of us think of measuring as something precise. But that’s not necessarily the case in M&E. What we need to be is roughly right. Those of us in Monitoring and Evaluation should carefully consider this advice from John […]

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring? Evaluation? Isn’t it the same?

Don’t be fooled.  The fact that the terms Monitoring and Evaluation often go together and are called “M&E” is somewhat misleading. When governments or development organisations use the term “Monitoring & Evaluation”, however, they mean something very specific: Monitoring & Evaluation is about collecting and analysing data and reporting on findings on how well a programme, a policy, a service or an organisation is performing, and […]


Mini course in Monitoring and Evaluation

Are you new to Monitoring & Evaluation? Or do you want to briefly brush up your knowledge on key concepts of monitoring and evaluating programmes, services or policies? Why not join my M&E mini course on Udemy? It’s short, to the point and covers the basics. And with a rating of 4.4 stars and 8,000+ […]


Want to be a Monitoring & Evaluation professional?

Do you already work in M&E? Or do you consider building a career in M&E? My advice: Do it! To avoid any surprises, here is a very, very, very brief intro into Monitoring & Evaluation (or M&E) as a profession. You may already know that, but: Monitoring and Evaluation is about measuring and tracking the results of government […]

Innovation Monitoring and Evaluation

M&E needs to change. We need to change.

Monitoring and Evaluation is an exciting area of work because it is currently undergoing rapid changes. Countries and organizations are increasingly taking innovative approaches to monitor and evaluate the performance of programmes, policies, services or organizations. There are several reasons why this is happening. ‘RESULTS’ ARE HERE TO STAY First, citizens, parliaments and donors are rightly demanding to know what results are […]