Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation

Children_at_windowMonitoring & Evaluation (M&E) is a research tool providing regular information on project performance through a range of analysis to promote efficient and effective implementation and operation. Monitoring is essential during programme implementation to track daily operations, ensure that everything is running according to plan and to provide data to help managers determine if activities need adjustment. The purpose of programme monitoring is to refine and optimize the approach to delivering the programme to the beneficiaries.

Evaluation should happen at key milestones during a programme life-cycle to inform relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact measuring the success of the project relative to its stated objectives. Evaluations provide recommendations, which can be used to inform the M&E systems should be as simple and user-friendly as possible, focusing on the essential types of data but avoiding overloading - any M&E system can serve its purpose only if it is actually used and functioning. 

At the request of the Government, Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development (PCD) provides M&E support to Mali. 

Mali's Impact Evaluation

The government-led and PCD supported Impact Evaluation Project is aimed at measuring the impact of school feeding on education, health/nutrition, smallholder farmers, and the broader community development in Mali. The outcome will allow stakeholders and policymakers to see the strengths and weaknesses of the programme, better design and implement future interventions, and optimize resources mobilization. 

M&E System Strengthening

To support the efficiency and the sustainability of its school feeding programmes, the Government of Mali began to strengthen its M&E system in 2010. With the support of PCD, in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) and the Dutch Development Organization, SNV, the Government validated the first ever National M&E Strategy for school feeding programmes in 2013 which covers an experimental period of five years (2013-2017).

M&E Tools 

Alongside the strategy, six M&E tools were developed for regular monitoring at regional, local, and school levels. 
At school level these included:
  • A daily food stock management sheet
  • A monthly report of School Management Committee
  • A quarterly report of the school director
  • A monitoring sheet of the mayor  
At the local level, the local department of education collects all quarterly reports of schools in the zone and summarizes them in an overarching report sent to the regional department of education. 

At regional level, finally, all the information from the various local education departments are aggregated at regional level as a quarterly report of regional department of education and forwarded to central level - the National Center of School Canteens (CNCS).