Thanks, dear Naser, for bringing this issue again to the forefront.
We should not stop 'hammering' that evaluation cannot and should not be disconnected from monitoring and we should do all we can to connect them from the start, at the moment of developmental action formulation, albeit a project, a programme, or a policy.
It is a fact - and nobody can deny that - that most of the time developmental actions are:
- lacking a clear theory of change, and hence a thorough and sound results framework; and,
- not founded upon a robust M&E system which will systematize monitoring from the start and prepare the ground for evaluation.
But why this is still happening after eighteen years of the MDG endeavour?
Because of weak or insufficient M&E capacities within national systems in almost all developing countries, but also a 'stricking' reluctance and lack of political will to adopt a national M&E framework for national development. Again this fear of M&E as a control and audit system is in the air...
Besides, whenever international organizations is pleading the need to build national capacities on this issue, stress and focus are rather put on evaluation and very low consideration is allotted to monitoring.
And again, I would claim that monitoring and evaluation - and not monitoring or evaluation - are the two 'legs' of a system on which will stand a developmental action seeking to ensure achieving its expected results; choosing the one or the other would just mean that our development action - as a person standing on one leg - will certainly fall short of achieving its expected results.
That's what I wanted to say as a rejoinder to Naser's contribution...