The different sides of M&E

The West and Central Africa Division of IFAD organised yesterday (19 June 2013) a talk on the importance of Impact Evaluations in Programme Implementation. The talk was given by our new Colleague Franck Luabeya Kapiamba, the Country Programme Officer (CPO) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Franck vibrantly introduced his extensive experience with M&E from the point of view of a student reviewing poverty profiles for social adjustment programmes for his dissertation as well as from the point of view of a technician to whom a poorly designed programme document was given, with too many indicators for which he had to put into place an M&E system.

From his experience, on whichever side he found himself, the questions and complexities regarding M&E and evaluating impact are the same:

  •           What are we trying to measure or to prove? Which questions are we trying to answer?
  •           Are our projects effective? Have they reached their objectives?
  •           Do our projects really impact the lives of the farmers who participate in them?
  •           Are we using the proper tools to undertake our analysis?
  •           Is quantitative data enough to demonstrate our impact?  Can impact be limited to numbers?
  •           How important is qualitative data in impact evaluation?
  •           Are we objective in our method? Is our data reliable?

Of course the questions we chose to answer imply many things and can change during course of our observations according to the findings of our observations and the data collected.

Franck stressed the importance of consistency throughout the evaluations and the need for good baseline surveys, midterm and final evaluations of projects and programmes. He outlined some methods that can be observed to achieve good evaluations and explained some risks like selection bias of the control group. In order to mitigate some of the risks associated to ineffective M&E, he suggested that technicians with good experience in the project area are selected.

To continue the discussion, you can follow us on twitter #ifadm&e, #ifad, #drc or contact Franck directly