Small and medium-sized INGOs have often struggled with developing and sustaining detailed monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) systems beyond the requirements of their donors.
This study – funded by a consortia of UK donors – attempts to gain a better understanding of the key elements of effective and appropriate MEL systems for different types and sizes of INGOs, the costs and challenges associated with developing and maintaining these systems, and the current state of play on these issues within INGOs.
Five case studies of small or medium-sized INGOs were undertaken. Case study interviews were conducted with all organisations, through talking with representatives in the UK, recipient countries and other operational centres across the world. A survey of over 70 INGOs was undertaken during December 2012. A further three in-depth case studies were undertaken.
This study is currently ongoing and will be completed in March 2013. We anticipate seeing results that cover average spend, average staffing, use of MEL for strategic decision making and strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to MEL – as evidenced through case studies and the broader survey. The objective of this study is to use the results to inform the ongoing debates on resourcing for MEL work within the INGO sector and help INGOs make better informed decisions about appropriate levels of investment in this area.Image © Yunnan Yams. Photo Credit: David Fleming