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 results of government and development programmes and judging their value.
Monitoring and Evaluation has for decades been a standard management tool for the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations. It is also growing in popularity across the globe, where more and more governments are setting up their own national Monitoring and Evaluation systems.
Working in Monitoring and Evaluation is pretty cool. It is an exciting and growing area in governance and international development. It combines
- clear, logical and creative thinking,
- different techniques from social sciences,
- innovative communication techniques and
- cutting-edge technology for data collection and analysis.
There are three reasons why Monitoring and Evaluation can be useful for government and development programmes:
First, it can help us understand if we are achieving the results we want:
- Do programmes and policies lead to the results that we planned?
- Is it worth spending all that money compared to the results that were achieved?
- And: Do programmes and policies make a positive difference in the lives of people?
Second, Monitoring and Evaluation can help us to improve – to do things better. It should provide us with evidence to swiftly adjust or correct programmes and policies
And third: Monitoring and Evaluation should help us learn more about what works and – equally important – what does not.
Clearly, Monitoring and Evaluation is not a silver bullet for ineffective governments and development organisations. But it can help us to know if we achieve the results we want, how to improve what we do, and what works and what does not work.