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What are the Various Forms of NGO Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)?

Did you know that several forms of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) exist based on the goal, focus, timing, and audience of the assessment? In this post, we’ve tried to look at some of the many types of M&E that are often utilized in the development and humanitarian sectors in order to help you plan and execute your M&E more strategically.

The good news is that the different types of monitoring and evaluation are not mutually exclusive, which means they may be utilized in different combinations to maximize your project’s potential.

Before we get into the different categories, let’s look at how monitoring varies from assessment.

To get you started, here are seven different forms of monitoring.

Process monitoring

Process or activity monitoring is a term used to describe this. The main aim of process monitoring is to track the usage of inputs and resources, as well as to examine how activities and outputs are provided, and it is applied at the early phases of a project.

It is frequently carried out in combination with compliance monitoring and feeds into the impact assessment.

Compliance monitoring

Compliance monitoring, as the name implies, ensures adherence to donor rules, grant and contract requirements, local governmental regulations and laws, ethical standards, and, most significantly, adherence to the project’s intended outcomes. Compliance monitoring may be required at any point during the project life cycle.

Context monitoring

Context or situation monitoring is another term for context monitoring. It keeps track of the project’s entire environment.

At any stage during the project cycle, context monitoring allows us to detect and assess risks, assumptions, or other unforeseen events that may occur within the institutional, political, financial, and policy environment.

These assumptions and hazards are external variables that are outside the project’s control; nonetheless, context monitoring allows us to discover them in time to impact the project’s success or failure.

Beneficial monitoring

Beneficiary Contact Monitoring (BCM) is a term used to describe this sort of monitoring, which may be required at any point during the project cycle. Its main goal is to track the overall perceptions of project beneficiaries, both direct and indirect.

It comprises beneficiary satisfaction or complaints about the project and its components, such as their involvement, treatment, resource access, and whether or not those resources are equal, as well as their overall transformation experience.

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Stakeholder concerns and feedback mechanisms are also tracked through beneficiary monitoring.

Financial monitoring

The primary goal of financial monitoring is to assess a project’s financial efficiency. It keeps track of a project’s actual expenses in relation to the budgeted amount and assists the project team in developing methods to optimize outputs with minimal inputs.

This is frequently done in conjunction with monitoring of “process” and “compliance,” and it is critical for accountability and reporting.

Organizational monitoring

Organizational monitoring, as the name implies, keeps track of institutional growth, communication, collaboration, sustainability, and capacity building inside an organization as well as with its partners and stakeholders during project implementation.

Results monitoring

This is where monitoring and assessment collide. It collects data to show the overall benefits and consequences of a project on the target demographic. It assists the project team in determining if the project is on pace to achieve its goals and whether there are any unexpected consequences.

There are ten different sorts of evaluations to help you get on the correct road.

Formative evaluation

This is usually done prior to the project’s execution. It may, however, continue through the implementation stage, depending on the nature of the project.

Its major goal is to collect baseline data in order to analyze the project’s requirements, increase awareness of the project’s starting condition, highlight areas of concern, and make recommendations for project execution and compliance.

Process evaluation

It’s done as soon as the project’s implementation phase starts. It determines if project activities were carried out as planned and resulted in certain results.

Process evaluation is important for detecting project flaws while the project is still in progress so that required adjustments may be made. This also aids in determining the project’s long-term viability.

Outcome evaluation

After the project operations have been completed, this sort of evaluation is carried out. It assesses the immediate impacts or consequences of the activities on the target population and aids in the development of modifications to improve the project’s effectiveness.

Summative evaluation

This occurs shortly after the project’s completion to assess the project’s efficacy and the immediate changes brought about by its interventions. The summative assessment compares actual outcome data to baseline data to see if the project was effective in achieving the desired results or providing the desired benefits to the target audience.

It provides stakeholders and donors with proof of project success or failure to assist them to decide if it is worthwhile to invest more time and money in project extension.

Impact evaluation

Influence evaluation examines the long-term impact or behavioral changes on the target community or population as a result of a project and its treatments. Rather than concentrating on project management and delivery, it evaluates how well the project achieves its ultimate purpose.

These usually happen when a project is completed or at the end of the project cycle. In certain lengthier projects, however, this can be done at regular intervals during the project implementation period, or whenever effect measurement is required.

Real-time evaluation

During the project execution phase, real-time evaluation is carried out. It’s frequently used in emergency situations where rapid feedback on changes is needed to enhance ongoing implementation. Immediate lesson learning takes precedence over effect evaluation or responsibility.

Participatory evaluation

To enhance project execution, this form of assessment is carried out in collaboration with beneficiaries, key stakeholders, and partners. Because it creates capacity, consensus, ownership, credibility, and mutual support, the participatory assessment may be powerful for everyone involved.

Thematic evaluation

This form of assessment focuses on a single topic across several projects, initiatives, or the entire organization. The topic might be anything, such as gender, migration, or the environment.

Cluster or sector evaluation

This evaluation is carried out by broader development and humanitarian sectors, which may include a number of different organizations, programs, or projects working on comparable theme areas.

It evaluates a collection of linked operations that span many projects and entities. As a consequence, collaborations within these critical sectors are strengthened, while coordination, accountability, predictability, and reaction capability are improved.


This is used to gauge the effectiveness of the evaluation procedure. Meta-evaluations may be beneficial for determining future evaluation kinds, ensuring compliance with assessment policy and best practices, determining how successfully evaluations are used for organizational learning and development, and so on.

Here’s a quick rundown of the many forms of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) we discussed before. Quick note: Monitoring is done by an internal staff member, whereas evaluations are done by internal team members or external consultants/experts, depending on the type of assessment.

Internal evaluations can aid in the development of employee capability and ownership, but they can also be subjective. External review, on the other hand, offers impartiality and technical competence, as well as being more open and responsible.

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