July 27, 2009

Monitoring & evaluation system design

Keystone’s impact planning, assessment and learning systems  build on the strengths of traditional M&E and address some of their frustrations:

  • they recognise that social change processes are complex and non-linear: planning is focused on who has to do what for success,
  • they help develop realistic and effective strategies,
  • they provide a rigorous monitoring framework geared towards continuous learning, adaptation and improvement,
  • they focus on hearing the voices of all the constituents of social change and on strengthening dialogue,
  • they generate summary, quantified data for senior managers, which can be compared and aggregated.
Keystone’s IPAL methodology has really changed our strategic thinking and approach (…) The Fund (…) now better appreciates the key actors who are central to our organisational success
Moipone Buda-Ramatlo
    Nelson Mandela Children’s
    Fund (NMCF)

The process of designing an  impact planning, assessment and learning system usually involves:

  1. workshop(s) for clarifying the organisation’s or programme’s Theory of Change
  2. identifying strategies and specific indicators, and developing templates for data collection and storage
  3. monitoring indicators, using a variety of methods, including  gathering feedback from constituents
  4. reporting progress back to constituents and also publicly (as appropriate)
  5. structured opportunities for reflection to review progress and the Theory of Change and make plans for the future.

Read some short examples

Download our IPAL brochure.