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.

Tools4dev

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 download templates and 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

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.

Sopact

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.

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About Author

Angela Biden is a consulting strategist and M&E consultant. She has worked across a range of development, and business contexts. She holds a Masters in Economics and Philosophy, and has worked in the nexus of M&E and social impact; to help those doing good do more of it; for some 15 years. From policy board rooms, to Tech start-ups, to grass roots NGOs working in the face of the world’s most abject challenges; Angela is focused on conducting relevant and meaningful M&E: fit for purpose, realistic, and useful for stakeholders creating positive change.

2 Comments

  1. An informative and extremely useful article for navigating the world of M&E tools. A few I would add are:

    Logframe Lab – A free, secure, open-source logical framework builder that takes uploaded proposals and produces indicators through machine learning. https://www.logframelab.ai/

    Arqaam’s free online M&E training for small and grassroots NGOs – For organisations with less than 250,000 USD annual turnover, Arqaam offers free one-on-one time with their experts and open-source materials to learn from. https://www.arqaam.org/pro-bono/

    • wordpressadmin on

      Thank you Daniel for sharing these useful resources. I am looking forward to explore them in the next days.

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