Welcome cocktail reception, Tuesday 18 September 6:00–8:00pm, open to all delegates! Venue: Penny Royal
Back To Schedule
Friday, September 21 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Why do well designed M&E systems seldom inform decision making?

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Byron Pakula (Clear Horizon), Damien Sweeney (Clear Horizon)

Monitoring and evaluation is broadly accepted as part of good project design and implementation. However, M&E systems regularly fail to feedback information to improve learning or change actions by managers, donors and decision makers. As the aid program transforms itself, focusing more on problem driven iterative adaptation, the emphasis on reflecting, learning and changing is ever increasing. The authors conducted a stocktake of M&E investment level systems across an entire DFAT aid portfolio - including desktop review, key informant interviews, and a detailed rubric based on the DFAT Reporting and M&E Standard.  

While it focused on one country, lessons were further developed based on a broad range of experience. The stocktake found that the majority of M&E Plans were well designed, though sometimes overly complicated. However, the quality diminished along the M&E pathway, in relation to implementing the M&E plans, communicating information, and using information for learning and adaptive management. Additionally, it was identified that implementing partners were often dependent on M&E advisers, often with varying approaches, and in some cases, varying quality.Partner-led, participatory and engaging approaches leads to improved reporting and learning. Good M&E ideally involves the participation of program design and program implementation staff to support ownership and understanding of M&E systems. Moreover, engaging donors in the reflection and reporting processes supports communication and facilitates decision making. Supporting this, embedding evaluation in the implementation team through Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) is integral to the quality of M&E systems. Making this an "an intentional process to increase individual motivation, knowledge, and skills and to enhance a group and/or organisation's ability to conduct and use monitoring and evaluation" as per Labin et al (2012) helps build and reinforce a culture of M&E, leading to the use of information to generation knowledge that supports adaptive management and learning.

avatar for Ruth McCausland

Ruth McCausland

Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, UNSW
Dr Ruth McCausland is Director of Research and Evaluation for the Yuwaya Ngarra-li partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group and UNSW, and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW. Her research focuses on women, young people, people with disabilities and... Read More →

avatar for Byron Pakula

Byron Pakula

Principal Consultant, Clear Horizon
Byron has gathered a broad array of professional experience working for government, private and not for profit sectors internationally and in Australia for over fifteen years. Byron is a well respected and influential manager, strategist and adviser that has applied himself to some... Read More →
avatar for Damien Sweeney

Damien Sweeney

Principal Consultant, Clear Horizon
Damien Sweeney is a Senior Consultant at Clear Horizon Consulting. Damien is a sustainability generalist and M&E practitioner, bringing together his experiences across numerous sectors, from local government, to seafood industry, and consulting. Damien has worked with leading behaviour... Read More →

Friday September 21, 2018 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST
Chancellor 6