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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning


On this page we answer the question, what is Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning?  We explain why we think it’s important and our approach.

You can also view our related training courses and news.  We also offer consultancy, facilitation and coaching on this subject.





Accepting that circumstances and factors surrounding social interventions and projects tend to be dynamic and emergent requires a major focus on learning. We understand MEL as the reflection-action learning processes happening during and after any social intervention aimed at maximizing contribution to transformative changes, including implementing organisations’ changes.  "Not everything that can be counted counts…not everything that counts can be counted."  W. Bruce Cameron.








From a learning perspective, MEL participation of different stakeholders – understood as methods, tools, approaches, practices and attitudes – is not just considered a “good practice” but actually constitutes a core, pragmatic principle to inform processes of organisational learning and decision making. Since knowledge is to be created by actors on the ground, programmes need to be informed by stakeholders’ interpretation and participation in making sense of their experiences.

We believe that our role as evaluators is to facilitate collaborative processes that are empowering and contribute to a sense of ownership for stakeholders.

In our experience, when introducing a participatory and facilitative approach to reflection and data collection, new insights and learning will emerge which are of direct and immediate use to the stakeholders involved, so that the outcome of the evaluation is not limited to the report and accountability to funders and donors.






In our MEL activities we focus our attention on data and information coming from participatory processes from grassroots for decision making and learning at organisational level.

We use different evaluation frameworks such as casual frameworks including logframes and Theory of Change (ToC), Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning; contribution frameworks, such as Outcome Mapping and Process Tracing, as well as gender analysis approaches with intersectional perspectives which are closely linked with evaluation frameworks around power asymmetries. 

In our work we apply a wide range of technical skills for social research, including qualitative and quantitative tools to aid data generation, and collective and multi-stakeholder analysis and sense making. We particularly favour transformative participatory tools that are oriented in reflection and action.



Featured news  


A First: EAFm for Inland Fisheries!


Tags: FAO, Fisheries, EAFM, Consultancy, Multi-Stakeholder


  • WHY: To address the diversity of inland fisheries, the standard EAFM marine-focused course needed to be strategically adapted and piloted
  • WHO: FAO FiRM project
  • WHAT: EAFm multi-stakeholder workshop/Consultancy
  • WHERE: Mangochi, Malawi
  • WHEN: March 2019

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  • WHY: To foster a real culture of M&E for improved organisational effectiveness
  • WHO: Botswana National Productivity Centre
  • WHAT: 5-day M&E for Results training and 3-day associated Training of Trainers
  • HOW: build M&E capacity for a cross section of 25 staff, and develop a cadre of consultants and researchers to support M&E practice in-house as well as in client-facing work
  • WHERE: Gaborone, Botswana
  • WHEN: February 2019

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“Who eats what food in the family?”


Tags: FAO, Consultancy, Nutrition


“Who eats what food in the family?” This was a question posed to a group of high school students at a nutrition club meeting today in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. In this ‘Food Plate’ game, groups of students selected the food images that their grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters had eaten at their last evening meal. The differences were discussed keenly with the group. This group of 35 students have been meeting for a year and enjoy inspiring each other as well as their families with nutritious and safe ways of preparing food.  All of this was observed by Leigh Dowsett and Chris...
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  • WHY: OPCW hired IMA International in a consultancy to support the development of a Results Based Management (RBM) system.
  • WHO: Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
  • WHAT: Consultancy
  • HOW: Consultancy
  • WHERE: Den Hague

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  • WHO: 5 participants
  • WHAT: Training course
  • HOW: 15 day training
  • WHERE: Brighton
  • WHEN: July 2018

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  • WHY: To enable APEFE headquarters team to identify and put into practice knowledge management practices as part of their strategic planning process
  • WHAT: KM training
  • HOW: 5-day workshop
  • WHERE: Brussels/Belgium
  • WHEN: December 2018

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  • WHY: To build practitioners’ self-awareness, confidence and skills in their service as accountable decision-makers.
  • WHO: IMA International
  • WHAT: Training course
  • HOW: 5 days workshop
  • WHERE: Bangkok
  • WHEN: November 2018

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  • WHY: To increase the transparency and openness of development resource flows.
  • WHO: International Aid Transparency Initiative
  • WHAT: Ten years since the International Aid Transparency Initiative set up.
  • HOW: By bringing together governments, multilateral institutions, private sector and civil society organisations.

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  • WHY: To champion improvements in the country’s shrimp fisheries management
  • WHO: FAO Brazil
  • WHAT: Consultancy
  • HOW: 5 days of training
  • WHERE: Brazil
  • WHEN: 26 - 30 November 2018

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  • WHY: To enable those responsible for project or programme-level M&E benefit from the latest M&E thinking and practice, including results approaches.
  • WHO: 15 participants
  • WHAT: Monitoring and Evaluation
  • HOW: 5/10 days workshop
  • WHERE: Cape Town
  • WHEN: October 2018

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  • WHY: To support a step-wise guide for the implementation of international legal and policy instruments related to deep sea fisheries and biodiversity conservation in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • WHO: University of Strathclyde / FAO’s Legal Office / Fisheries Specialists
  • HOW: Consultancy/ Workshop
  • WHERE: Bangkok
  • WHEN: November 2018

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