Digital readiness and skills are decisive in the choice of a data gathering system. For example, where people rely on simple feature phones, SMS surveys are suitable.
Photo: Jörg Böthling


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A good M&E system empowers projects to appreciate their achievements, learn from challenges and improve strategic decision-making. Yet in practice, project staff often see M&E as an annoying ‘ticking-the-box’ exercise just to satisfy donors. Our author argues that digital tools can make M&E more efficient and even fun if applied with the user in mind. He shares practical insights on how projects can digitise M&E to be both informative and motivating.

It is an open secret that many project managers and staff consider M&E a laborious extra burden that keeps them from their actual work – even if they are well aware of its benefits. Many, if not most, of them would agree that monitoring and evaluating their activities’ progress and results is important for informed project steering, accountable reporting and even for convincing public relations. They might also agree that reliably managing and communicating data helps promote co-operation, co-ordination and transparency among projects, partners, donors and beneficiaries. But if the benefits of M&E are known, then where does the apparent reluctance to tap into them come from?

The experience of Mainlevel Consulting in supporting projects to improve their M&E through digital solutions shows that the reasons often come down to the procedures and mechanisms that projects use to operationalise their M&E systems. A common challenge is the lack of reliable data sources or user-friendly tools to collect, transfer and analyse data.

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