The traditional approach of positioning M&E as an important but ancillary component of a project has led to siloed implementation practices, with a focus on immediate donor expectations. This approach doesn’t lend itself well to impact analysis at the macro level, as there are rarely any opportunities to meaningfully aggregate data around indicators. Further, the current data handling is often done through paper records or MS Excel files – a highly inefficient solution given that a single indicator with basic
disaggregation by age and gender – can potentially produce more than
12,000 data points.
A centralized framework that directs the M&E implementation both at the operational level (project/donor-specific) and at the strategic level (institutional/global strategy) can enable a more structured approach to M&E.
Enabling this centralized framework requires organizations to undertake transformational changes in their M&E practices, covering three key areas: standardization, capacity building, and the introduction of digital technologies.