RE: Developing effective, inclusive and gender responsive MEAL systems | Eval Forward

Dear EvalForward members

My contribution on the MEL&MEAL.

Monitoring and evaluation systems cut-across all sectors of the economy: this makes them an important means for learning, where researchers and policies makers should go for information, knowledge and update with relevant statistics and data for government policies, programmes and projects. However, to be fully integrated as a learning entity and process, past and present information and data for government policies, programmes/projects should be kept/stored and institutionalized for learning processes and for independent and other bodies to go for information and data collection for research purposes and policies.

Often, in monitoring and evaluation, the primary interests are outcomes and impacts of the programmes/projects leaving others unattended, including government policies that affect the economy growth and development and gender issues, where inclusiveness should be most important to all stakeholders. Making MEAL/MEL an avenue of learning would create and broaden the scope of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems: it could become a national learning institution which would serve and make inclusiveness important to all. Inclusiveness will ensure participatory mechanism in the development of the system itself.

Basically, a programme or project sustained would be based on a monitoring and evaluation system because it is what reviews the outcome and impact on the society. In this case it becomes a sustainable effect, and a means in which programmes/projects thrive continuously. It should be institutionalized to create a pathway and avenue for learning.

Meanwhile, because they have been mostly limited to programmes/projects, MEL/MEAL systems have not be able to broaden their scope to learning and their importance to national growth and development. Institutionalizing them would eliminate this limitation. Rural development has not be fully considered nor captured and integrated because of accessibility of communities for information and data collection. Emphasis should be placed on rural development to ensure information is well gathered for update and development. This would also help agricultural development and emergency needs at any time.

Ultimately, if MEL/MEAL is a system let it be institutionalized to serve as a national databased for all sectors.