Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Regions: Africa AsiaEurope and EurasiaLatin America and the CaribbeanMiddle East and North Africa

Whether it is setting up a project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system, conducting a baseline or end-line study, or evaluating an ongoing project, i-APS provides the information you need to take better decisions. i-APS can make a key contribution to your organization by enabling your M&E to play an increasingly strategic role in the development of your programs.

The i-APS team of expert practitioners have extensive, diverse experience in conducting M&E projects, especially in conflict and disaster zones across the world, where populations of internally-displaced people or refugees face urgent food, water and human-security difficulties.

We understand that you need not only to know if a program is succeeding, but to be given an objective picture that presents the details of your outputs on-the-ground. For this, we identify the specific challenges faced in the field, and highlight your options for adjustments that could improve implementation. i-APS provides cutting-edge MEAL services that track the progress of your programs, and identifies how your organization and interventions in the field can better reach target populations, as well as helping to scale-up your impacts.

01 Strategic planning and the design of results frameworks for projects and programs

In humanitarian contexts, problems can be severe, and multiple challenges often make it hard to tackle root causes. Projects and programs are needed that can intervene effectively, and which directly improve outcomes for affected communities. A clearly-constructed results-chain is critical to accountability, mid-course corrections, and learning. i-APS staff are skilled at generating results frameworks that set out an intervention’s activities and its expected results, the strategic objective to be delivered, and the overall goals to which programs should contribute.

02 Tool development, data collection, analysis and reporting

i-APS is experienced in integrated approaches to the entire data collection chain. We seamlessly link evaluation matrices that hold your organization’s information-needs, with the correct information-gathering tools that will maximize data reliability. Tools are designed to be appropriate to sensitive environments and to vulnerable populations through local piloting to ensure their acceptance and effectiveness. Tools are then fielded, based on appropriate numerical and geographical sampling methods. Our field teams are carefully-recruited and trained to engage effectively with respondents and with senior informants. They are capable of reaching remote areas, and then accessing the required sources, usually using mobile data-collection platforms. Our specialist teams competently analyze incoming data streams, triangulate information, feedback to field teams, and check for quality. i-APS team leaders and senior staff then provide robust reports that present impartial findings, set out evidence-based conclusions, and propose actionable recommendations, which work together to inspire user confidence in our M&E outputs.

03 Data quality assessments

Credible and effective reports must always be founded on management systems that reliably collect good-quality, verified data. Data quality assessments are vital to assess the ability of ensure optimal confidence and to improve underlying organizing data frameworks. Data quality auditing tools are used by i-APS teams to determine a program or project’s ability to report quality-data, and to strengthen their data management and reporting systems that provide sound evidence for decisions. Our methodologies to assess the integrity of data gathering systems, and can verify a sample of reported data according to specific indicators to identify gaps and monitor necessary improvements.

04 MEAL focused training, capacity-building and learning

i-APS integrated MEAL training systems can effectively contribute to your organization’s improved M&E performance and to greater impacts of your projects. Based on an assessment of staff needs, program requirements and organizational practices, i-APS provides tailored training to build-up the required skills in MEAL thinking, approaches and tools. Typical areas that we focus on are M&E capabilities and personnel roles; results and performance frameworks; indicators and their definitions; program/project reporting systems and their requirements; data collection approaches and tools; data management processes and quality control; and linkages with wider reporting systems. Covering these topics improves your personnel’s understanding of what works, what doesn’t, for whom, and under what circumstances. Through combined practical and theoretical sessions, our MEAL training instills relevant concepts, sensitizes staff to the need to strengthen data management functions, and provides your staff with the practical tools to improve performance and reporting to produce required quality information.

05 Performance, Mid-Term and Impact Reporting

Impact, mid-term and performance evaluations are now an obligatory requirement of donors and national governments. However, doing them well is a serious challenge.

i-APS begins work by developing a conceptual model, based on existing results frameworks. We reconstruct the project’s logic, and build up the theory of change. This leads to a clear view of the indicators to be applied, and where the information needed can be found.

i-APS emphasizes those questions with highest relevance to client operations. Once defined, the variables of interest, such as activities and targets, outputs or results, and their outcomes and impacts, can begin to be measured.

i-APS applies a well-tested toolkit of desk and field-based methods that includes appraisal of results-chain documentation; analysis of M&E system outputs; timeline tracking; and a range of quantitative, qualitative, and participatory instruments.

We have found that it is key to tailor methods to each context, and to prioritize information needs, to avoid overburdening data collection and reporting.

i-APS seeks to ensure that evaluations become a long-term learning experience for participants, donors and implementing organizations alike, that should unite relevant actors in consultative processes of data collection, validation of findings, and dissemination of results.

To learn more about i-APS’s Monitoring and Evaluation services, please contact our Director of Program Development and Technical Service Mark Kowal at mkowal@i-aps.com