Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a core part of good development and grant-making practices. Knowing what worked and what didn’t can help grantmakers and charities improve their work and learn from their successes (and mistakes). Beyond being simply a good practice, many grant makers and funders increasingly make monitoring and evaluation a key requirement of any project they fund, so learning how to monitor, evaluate and assess is an increasingly important skill.
Despite the growing importance of good monitoring and evaluation, many organisations that receive funding to carry out development activities struggle with the theory and practice of good M&E. Recognising this, grant-makers and funders provide support to their grantees to improve their use of monitoring, evaluation and evidence in their activities. Even so, knowing which tool to use and when can be daunting.
It’s an issue we have struggled with and we know that many of our grantees have difficulty evaluating their work and documenting the impact it is in a clear and consistent way. It’s for these reasons that we have awarded Intermedia a grant of £14,513 to work with Indigo and a number of our transparency and accountability grantees to develop a framework for M&E of digital transparency projects. We plan to publish the results (be it a framework, report or something else) so that other organisations can use the work to strengthe their own skills. Monitoring and evaluating digital work carries a number of challenges – what do you monitor and why? Are total site visits the best indicator you have of your project’s impact? Where do qualitative results sit in relation to quantitative? Hopefully, Intermedia will work through these issues – and others – with some of our grantees over the next few weeks to help strengthen their skills and make their organisations more attractive to potential funders. It’s very exciting work and we have already begun the initial stages with Intermedia, so hopefully we’ll have plenty more to blog about over the coming weeks.