Monitoring and Evaluation

Building a Monitoring Team

M&E is a team effort. The team size—particularly the number of field monitors needed—will vary according to the project scale. Oftentimes even large monitoring teams can be assembled at relatively low cost through the recruitment of volunteers or part-time workers. The table, below, summarizes the key roles and responsibilities of M&E team members and provides sample Terms of References (ToRs) for these positions in the AGI pilots:

Position Tasks Sample ToRs
M&E Officer
  • Develop the results framework and M&E Plan, including measurement tools
  • Oversee M&E activities and data collection
  • Maintain management information system (MIS)
  • Produce M&E reports
Tool icon Liberia EPAG M&E Officer ToR
Field Monitors
  • Conduct training venue assessments
  • Conduct quality monitoring visits to training sites
  • Conduct job verification visits
Tool icon Liberia EPAG Quality Monitor ToR
Monitoring Supervisors
  • Coordinate and oversee field monitors
  • Conduct training venue assessments
  • Conduct quality monitoring visits to training sites
  • Conduct job verification visits
Tool icon Liberia EPAG Quality Monitor Supervisor ToR
Data Clerks
  • Conduct data review to verify all completed forms are submitted for data entry and report any discrepancies
  • Enter assigned category of monitoring data into designated database(s)
  • Conduct data quality checks
  • Maintain backup data (electronic and hard copies)
Tool icon Liberia EPAG Data Clerk ToR

If the project includes an evaluation (particularly an impact evaluation), specific team members are needed to work along with the core project M&E team. The principal investigator is responsible for assembling this team in coordination with the project team. Evaluation team members include the following individuals:

Position Tasks Sample ToRs
Principal Investigator
  • Design the evaluation (in coordination with the project team)
  • Assist with the monitoring system development
  • Build and supervise the evaluation team (field coordinator, survey firm, and so on)
  • Perform data analysis, writing, and dissemination
  • Engage stakeholders and build support for the evaluation
Tool icon Principle Investigator ToR
Field Coordinator
  • Act as primary liaison between the evaluation team, the project team and the survey firm
  • Monitor the evaluation implementation and troubleshoot problems
  • Assist with developing field instruments
  • Schedule fieldwork and oversee data collection
Tool icon Liberia EPAG Field Supervisor ToR
Survey Firm
  • Hire and train enumerators
  • Conduct the data collection (baseline, midline and endline)
  • Clean and deliver datasets to the principal investigator
Tool icon Rwanda Survey Firm ToR
Research Assistant
  • Assist the principal investigator with data cleaning and analysis
  • Assist the principal investigator with writing the evaluation reports
Tool icon AGI Research Assistant ToR
AGI Lessons Learned

Frequent quality monitoring does not have to be costly! Projects can be creative and build sustainable monitoring teams, for example, by engaging community volunteers or college students. Due to their small size and large learning needs, pilots may spend a larger portion of the overall project budget on monitoring than for at-scale programs. In Liberia, for instance, the EPAG project rectuited volunteers from other NGOs to serve as field monitors, which helped cut costs while still keeping the site visits frequent and impartial. In Nepal, additional monitors were engaged during peak verification periods. Consultancy contracts were used to handle the workload in busy times.

Recruit qualified monitors who are trustworthy and have good interpersonal skills. Monitors are an integral part of the project team. They bear the main repsonsibility for ensuring the project's quality and generating the information needed to course correct in real time, if necessary. Monitors should be resposible and reliable people who will uphold project standards and implement their duties with integrity. Define their scope of work clearly and recruit people who are committed to the task.

Ensure that the M&E team is sensitized and trained to interact with and collect data from young women. AGI monitors were required to have experience working with young women. Data collection firms for the AGI projects often employed young females as the interviewers so that female respondents felt comfortable during the interview process. Interviewers need to be trained so that they strictly respect confidentiality, know how to collect sensitive information, and can respond if the interview process uncovers that a respondent is in danger. In Liberia, for example, the project monitoring team has always been exclusively women, chiefly because an important thing they are monitoring for is sexual exploitation and abuse. While administering quantitative questionnaires in Liberia and Afghanistan, the AGI team put in place referral systems for survey interviewers to connect with local service providers if abuse was discovered during interviews.

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