Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Systems: Improving the Performance of Poverty Reduction Programs and Building Capacity of Local Partners
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) offers development organizations a host of opportunities for improving the performance of poverty alleviation programs and building the management capacity of local partners. While many agencies can evaluate poverty programs using outside “expert” approaches, few have the know-how and skills to employ PME approaches and fewer still are able to design and implement effective PME systems. PME approaches encompass a wide and expanding range of philosophies,tools and methodologies. For many agencies working in poverty alleviation there is great opportunity to strengthen programs by marrying PME with more traditional results-oriented approaches to program management.
This paper has four aims. First, it outlines the rationale for PME and distinguishes between participatory and conventional evaluation approaches. Second, it provides a simple framework and some practical guidance for designing and implementing practical PME systems for poverty alleviation programs. Third, it offers some practical tips for conducting PME during mid-term evaluations and project reviews. The paper concludes with several examples of PME/PME systems and a checklist for improving the design of PM&E systems.