Whether you’re looking to build a simple log frame, or to conduct a complex evaluative project, there are a number of useful tools and resources available to assist you. This list of tools, and their sources will assist you in staying up to date on current trends as your M&E progresses.
If you’re looking for a step by step guide to creating a log frame or building a complete monitoring and evaluation system, the tools4dev suite will always come in handy. From the site, you can browse examples to guide you through each step of M&E implementation. This toolkit provides full instructions for how to design your programmatic thinking from the problem tree and logic framework through to identifying and tracking your key programmatic indicators.
Better Evaluation features the ‘Managers Guide to Evaluation’ which includes a comprehensive framework from generating a Terms of Reference (take a look at the GeneraTOR) through the management of teams, and implementing complex M&E exercises. Their frequently updated blogs include topics such as how to choose metrics for evaluation, and the site includes an excellent summary of all the approaches to M&E, and which might be a good fit for your particular needs and challenges.
Bond’s Impact Builder
This set of tools is certain to make your M&E products stand out. Impact Builder can be used to support organisations as they implement and monitor their work, and by filling in a few details about your organisation and programme, you stand to save time and money by using the carefully selected and recommended indicators provided by this tool.
If you’ve already got a good grasp of your indicators and how to collect the information, and are wondering which off-the-shelf softwares are the perfect fit for your data analytic and visualisation needs before making a major investment, then visit Sopact’s guide on Monitoring and Evaluation tools. This source has a great understanding of the M&E challenges of mission driven organisations, those implementing complex projects.
Social Value UK
The resources contained on the Social Value UK website has a range of tools available for Social Impact practitioners. If you’re looking for a guide to evaluate a broad social impact, then this is the site to visit. Although this will not check all the boxes of academic evaluations which require proof of cause in evaluation, if you’re looking to replicate and scale, and show value for money for investors and governments, then this is a key tool.
The World Bank and OECD’s Handbook for Development Practitioners
Results-based M&E is an important approach which balances a focus between implementation and impact, with the measurement of achievement of key results. One aspect of this approach it that is does consider time, and the achievement of important milestones as key achievements. This guide will be particularly suitable for those working on large grant funded projects or projects in public management, who need to hold accountability as fundamental.
The Transition Network’s (Oxford University) Guide to M&E
This guide will introduce you to Action Research and Appreciative approaches, useful approaches for specific community-based projects where the nature of the change may not be apparent from the outset. The guide is also helpful with its presentation of how to define project strategy in the form of a logical framework. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide and how to define the change you hope to see, and then how to measure it, this is a great tool. This is a really accessible tool for anyone starting out in their M&E practice. Examples are largely applied to sustainable energy projects, making this a useful guide for those working in change related to transitioning to efficient energy sources.
UNDPs Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results
This comprehensive guide will certainly come in useful if you are involved in monitoring and evaluating any UN projects. This guide includes examples of annual workplans and outlines how this works as a data collection tool to build sound M&E reporting. This is a substantial and specific guide, but will certainly be useful to anyone working with major global donors.