Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
IBTCI has cultivated a solid reputation for providing and managing responsive technical services and support client through large, complex, multi-year, multi-sector mission-wide or regional portfolio-wide Monitoring Evaluation and Learning contracts. In our MEL support contracts, IBTCI has successfully designed M&E and learning systems for each of the clients, while carrying out monitoring support services to the clients and implementing partners (IPs) and conducting evaluations across all sectors. These M&E support systems have routinely included the design and/or review of Performance Monitoring Plans; the review of and technical advice to IPs of their Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Plans; the assessment of data quality, both at the Mission and activity levels; the site monitoring and verification of IP reporting; conducting of baseline surveys; carrying out (cross) sectoral assessments; and methodological design and implementation of performance and impact evaluations.
Working closely with IPs, IBTCI provides learning support in a variety of ways on a number of its’ projects. In recent years’, IBTCI has excelled at Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA), and has employed it into many of its projects. In addition to taking measures to incorporate CLA into its’ programs, IBTCI also regularly designs and implements learning agendas, facilitates collaborative discussions to enhance learning, design, plan, and conduct learning and sharing workshops, implemented both virtually and in-person to ensure integrated learning among all stakeholders. IBTCI also takes measures to identify areas of collaboration that foster cross cutting approaches to implementing a mission wide learning agendas.
In all of its engagements of this nature, IBTCI seeks to tailor monitoring and evaluation methodologies to the particular needs of missions, programs and projects. IBTCI recognizes that monitoring and evaluation must be thorough and rigorous, but also tailored to the specific needs and requirements of our clients. IBTCI has also learned that there is a close relationship between the depth and accuracy of monitoring activities and the quality of evaluations, and thus is promoting the use of web-based systems to improve monitoring and management reporting functions. IBTCI has successfully conducted several monitoring and evaluation projects for which it has received highly written commendations.
- Monitoring: IBTCI views monitoring as a continuing function that aims primarily to provide the client with regular feedback and early indications of progress or lack thereof in the achievement of intended results. Actual performance or situation is tracked against what was planned or expected according to pre-determined standards. IBTCI staff collects and analyzes data on implementation processes, strategies and results, and recommends corrective measures.
- Evaluation: IBTCI views evaluation as a time-bound exercise to assess systematically and objectively the relevance, performance and success of ongoing and completed programs and projects. Evaluation is undertaken selectively to answer specific questions to guide decision-makers and to provide information on whether underlying theories and assumptions used in program development were valid, what worked and what did not work and why. The aim is to determine relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. IBTCI also views evaluations as a vehicle for extracting cross-cutting lessons from operating unit experiences and determining the need for modifications to the strategic results framework.
Monitoring and evaluation methodologies used by IBTCI staff allow for a more rigorous focus on results, learning and the actual application of knowledge gained from monitoring and evaluation. IBTCI staff often plan monitoring and evaluation in parallel, as evaluation is viewed as an important monitoring tool and monitoring is an important input to evaluation. Meaningful information about outcomes and outputs are captured, regardless of the unit of analysis used by a monitoring and evaluation plan. An evaluation plan is drawn up to cover the outcomes of the period, which is a key element in performance assessment. Most important, IBTCI staff view planning as not being primarily about scheduling but about determining the best approach depending on the needs and the nature of what is being monitored and evaluated.