We focus on solid monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) as an integral part of our participatory and results-based project cycle management (PCM).

To ensure the delivery of high-quality projects that make a real difference in the life of project beneficiaries, SA4D follows a participatory and results-based approach to each of the three main phases of project cycle management (PCM), which are planning, implementation and monitoring, evaluation and learning. The approach is participatory, because key stakeholders are actively involved in each phase of the project, ensuring context-sensitivity, ownership and sustainability of the introduced concepts at all levels, and result-based, because the management of each phase is based on a clear definition and achievement of short- and longer-term results.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is an integral part of results-based project management. SA4D uses an eight-step model to ensure that MEL is approached systematically over the course of the whole project cycle and that it is not merely seen as a tool for accountability and control, but also as a tool to stimulate learning and improvement.

Figure: SA4D’s eight-step model

In addition, SA4D follows a mixed-method approach for MEL by combining quantitative and qualitative tools, including surveys, key informant interviews and focus group discussions with more “creative” participatory tools such as storytelling or photo voice. Combining different tools allows SA4D to meet the specific needs of each project and to capture strengths and balancing weaknesses of each method, while considering available resources.