Monitoring and Evaluation Systems require twelve main components in order to function effectively and efficiently to achieve the desired results. These twelve M&E components are discussed in detail below:

1.       Organizational Structures with M&E Functions

The adequate implementation of M&E at any level requires that there is a unit whose main purpose is to coordinate all the M&E functions at its level. While some entities prefer to have an internal organ to oversee its M&E functions, others prefer to outsource such services. This component of M&E emphasizes the need for M&E unit within the organization, how elaborate its roles are defined, how adequately its roles are supported by the organizations hierarchy and how other units within the organization are aligned to support the M&E functions within the organization.

2.       Human Capacity for M&E

An effective M&E implementation requires that there is only adequate staff employed in the M&E unit, but also that the staff within this unit have the necessary M&E technical know-how and experience. As such, this component emphasizes the need to have the necessary human resource that can run the M&E function by hiring employees who have adequate knowledge and experience in M&E implementation, while at the same time ensuring that the M&E capacity of these employees are continuously developed through training and other capacity building initiatives to ensure that they keep up with current and emerging trends in the field.

3.       Partnerships for Planning, Coordinating and Managing the M&E System

A prerequisite for successful M&E systems whether at organizational or national levels is the existence of M&E partnerships. Partnerships for M&E systems are for organizations because they complement the organization’s M&E efforts in the M&E process and they act as a source of verification for whether M&E functions align to intended objectives. They also serve auditing purposes where line ministries, technical working groups, communities and other stakeholders are able to compare M&E outputs with reported outputs.

4.       M&E frameworks/Logical Framework

The M&E framework outlines the objectives, inputs, outputs and outcomes of the intended project and the indicators that will be used to measure all these. It also outlines the assumptions that the M&E system will adopt. The M&E framework is essential as it links the objectives with the process and enables the M&E expert know what to measure and how to measure it.

5.       M&E Work Plan and costs

Closely related to the M&E frameworks is the M&E Work plan and costs. While the framework outlines objectives, inputs, outputs and outcomes of the intended project, the work plan outlines how the resources that have been allocated for the M&E functions will be used to achieve the goals of M&E. The work plan shows how personnel, time, materials and money will be used to achieve the set M&E functions.

6.       Communication, Advocacy and Culture for M&E

This refers to the presence of policies and strategies within the organization to promote M&E functions. Without continuous communication and advocacy initiatives within the organization to promote M&E, it is difficult to entrench the M&E culture within the organization. Such communication and strategies need to be supported by the organizations hierarchy. The existence of an organizational M&E policy, together with the continuous use of the M&E system outputs on communication channels are some of the ways of improving communication, advocacy and culture for M&E

7.       Routine Programme Monitoring

M&E consists of two major aspects: monitoring and evaluation. This component emphasizes the importance of monitoring. Monitoring refers to the continuous and routine data collection that takes place during project implementation. Data needs to be collected and reported on a continuous basis to show whether the project activities are driving towards meeting the set objectives. They also need to be integrated into the program activities for routine gathering and analysis.

8.       Surveys and Surveillance

This involves majorly the national level M&E plans and entails how frequently relevant national surveys are conducted in the country. National surveys and surveillance needs to be conducted frequently and used to evaluate progress of related projects. For example, for HIV and AIDS national M&E plans, there needs to be HIV related surveys carried at last bi-annually and used to measure HIV indicators at the national level.

9.       National and Sub-national databases

The data world is gradually becoming open source. More and more entities are seeking data that are relevant for their purposes. The need for M&E systems to make data available can therefore not be over-emphasized. This implies that M&E systems need to develop strategies of submitting relevant, reliable and valid data to national and sub-national databases.

10.   Supportive Supervision and Data Auditing

Every M&E system needs a plan for supervision and data auditing. Supportive supervision implies that an individual or organization is able to supervise regularly the M&E processes in such a way that the supervisor offers suggestions on ways of improvement. Data auditing implies that the data is subjected to verification to ensure its reliability and validity. Supportive supervision is important since it ensures the M&E process is run efficiently, while data auditing is crucial since all project decisions are based on the data collected.

11.   Evaluation and Research  

One aspect of M&E is research. The other is evaluation. Evaluation of projects is done at specific times most often mid- term and at the end of the project. Evaluation is an important component of M&E as it establishes whether the project has met he desired objectives. It usually provides for organizational learning and sharing of successes with other stakeholders.

12.   Data Dissemination and Use

The information that is gathered during the project implementation phase needs to be used to inform future activities, either to reinforce the implemented strategy or to change it. Additionally, results of both monitoring and evaluation outputs need to be shared out to relevant stakeholders for accountability purposes. Organizations must therefore ensure that there is an information dissemination plan either in the M&E plan, Work plan or both.


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  1. Pingback: THE 12 KEY COMPONENTS OF M&E SYSTEMS | Monitoring and Evaluation Blog

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  6. She

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  7. Thanks, we strive to provide readers with simple and clear M&E information. Welcome back, always.

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  11. kake

    Woow! this is the greatest explanation i have had for the M&E system,thanks…. u have made it so simple n easy to u/stand. Awesome!

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  13. desalegn

    the documents what attached from this are very important

  14. Asif Khan

    Important information specially for those who are related to M&E department or who want to work as a monitor. Here i want to conclude that regarding baseline & Surveys the information and examples are limited need more clarification and examples while rest of material is ok.

  15. Philemon Maboe

    Very interesting and informative…maybe we need to look into enablers or critical success factors as part ofvthe 12 steps

  16. Assumpta

    This is the most simplified explanation I have ever come across. It has enabled me to reflect and understand what an M&E system is about.

  17. Tatenda

    Magnificent staff. Thank you.

  18. Francelino

    The explanation is simple and understandable. All are awesome.

  19. thank you very much,I actually this presentation understand let of things about M&E.
    please, i would like to share link or reference M&E notes come from this lectures

  20. Patrick Karibe

    what are the key elements of monitoring and evaluation

  21. Nansubuga Juliet

    It’s so much educative en am greatfull

  22. Ahasan Faruk

    Nice and helpful

  23. Pingback: How To Start an M&E Unit Within Your Organization – Cloneshouse

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  25. Jedras

    Very good and interesting. Thanks for the effort. However, systems have been built and demolished, thus need to incorporate the issue of sustainability of the system. Thanks

  26. Kena Deressa

    Please I am doing assessment of M&E practice with the following objectives for acadamic pupose:
    To assess the existing pal of M&E
    To evaluate the tools of M&E
    To examine the challenges of M&E

  27. lynn

    Great piece this is, kudos.!!!!
    very clear, elaborate and precise.
    exactly what i was looking for.

  28. Ko Ko Phyo

    Very Interesting points. Theses are very essential for those who have contributed in setting up M&E system. On the other hand, it seems a guide for negotiating to hire M&E consultants.
    Thanks for sharing and extending M&E knowledge.

  29. Harrison Wambua

    Just Precise

  30. nyabongo wilson nkumba university

    great work….i has helped me understand mornitoring and evaluation systems more…

  31. Atuhaire ritah

    thank you so much for your effort

  32. Alfredson Nk Vankan

    Thanks to be the boards and management of Monitoring and evaluation.

  33. Gil

    Good stuff guys! continue supporting us

  34. Spencer Salime

    Thanks for the notes on monitoring and Evaluation. I have been reading for the past 1 hour now and find it interesting… Is there anyway I can get the PDF version?

  35. Edward P Borloh

    Great contribution from you on the components of the M&E Systems

  36. George Tee Forpoh, PhD

    Excellent portraits on the M&E Components

  37. This is is a holy land for M&E, it’s a complete package. i will be here day and night!!!

  38. Awatta Walter Ochan

    This is what I was looking for all this long


    Helpful. Regards


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