A Government led strategy for the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) of a national school feeding programme is the cornerstone for the development of a sustainable and efficient M&E system. Experiences from the health sector show that programme effectiveness is enhanced when the implementation of a national school feeding strategy is supported by a national M&E strategy agreed upon by all country partners and stakeholders.
The school feeding M&E strategy is generally integrated within a national school feeding programme strategy. The development and implementation of the national M&E strategy is usually government-led and includes key stakeholders (ministry of education, school staff, community, national office of statistics, etc.) in the process. The involvement of government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education and The Department of Statistics, is essential to ensuring M&E systems are aligned along national, regional and local levels.
Consensus building around the M&E strategy is essential to align partners’ efforts within one integrated national system. A multi-stakeholder format also helps to ensure that adequate resources and capacities are allocated by all partners to the national M&E system.
National M&E Plan
The national M&E plan is the document that describes the national M&E strategy to be implemented over the life-span of the national school feeding strategy (usually 3-5 years). It describes the different components of the M&E system in place or planned for to monitor and evaluate the program performance.
The key components of the M&E plan include:
- Results, indicators, baselines and targets, including M&E logical framework
- Data sources, including routine program monitoring and surveys
- Quality assurance mechanisms, including data quality and quality of services
- M&E coordination
- Evaluation, reviews and special studies
- M&E work-plan and budget
- M&E capacity building and system strengthening
M&E Work-Plan and Budget
A costed M&E school feeding work-plan is a time-bound, activity-based tool which describes and budgets for all M&E activities and clarifies agreed roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the program. The time-period covered by the work-plan will be country specific, but typically developed and/or revisited on an annual basis and may range for several years or more.
The M&E work plan generally includes the following: 1. A list of M&E activities planned for the year, including: 2. Timeline for each of the activities 3. Responsible unit / implementing agency for each activity 4. Identify collaborating agencies who will help implement the activity 5. Budget requirement for each activity 6. Sources of funding.
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