The Monitoring and Evaluation Division is pleased to share this handbook as part of our efforts to
enhance Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) by all stakeholders. While this handbook has been drafted
for use by all stakeholders it is particular mindful of the role of M&E from a National Society
perspective. The handbook contains useful M&E tools and is supported by some theoretical
It is intended that this handbook will be complemented by a series of training and information
sessions either as a stand-alone module, or incorporated into existing programmes like the leadership
development programme or the Project Planning Process (PPP). It can be used alongside other
relevant documents such as the Better Programming Initiatives (BPI), PPP manual and the Evaluation
Operational Framework. It is a document that will develop and evolve as we use it in our joint efforts
at achieving organisational shared learning.
Clarifying and demystifying the M&E function as a performance instrument to strengthen BPI and
PPP has been demanded by all stakeholders. This M&E handbook codifies a more rigorous search for
improved methods of assessing whether organisations are both “doing things right” and “doing the
This handbook is designed in modules to facilitate easy reading and a logical pathway through M&E.
It provides the reader with opportunity to reflect and refresh by addressing a number of key questions
following each module.
The International Federation already has in place the BPI. In many post conflict countries, tensions
continue long after the general restoration of peace and high levels of social violence continues to
disrupt livelihoods. With explicit programming, National Societies can strengthen relationships within
and between divided communities. The BPI emphasises the importance of analysing the context of
situations, describing the programme actions, identifying the impacts and searching for alternative
options in a strong analytical framework. Such initiatives have been tried in several countries
including Colombia and Nigeria. The outcome in Colombia emphasised the need for increasing the
coordination between different Colombian Red Cross departments, especially when planning
programmes for internally displaced people. In Nigeria such BPI analysis help Nigerian Red Cross
staff identify a number of ways of improving the implementation of water and sanitation programmes.
This M&E handbook will help BPI initiatives by clearly raising questions that have to be asked about
In a similar way this handbook links to PPP. The PPP is a new practical management tool to help
improve National Society and Federation planning and reporting to an internationally accepted
standard. The PPP handbook, like this handbook, allows users to quickly and easily develop tools that
are compatible with major donor requirements for project identification, appraisal, implementation
and evaluation. The PPP handbook is tailored to the needs of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and
applicable to both relief and development operations like this handbook.
As a result of this M&E initiative, it is expected that:
programme/project managers will have the knowledge and tools to apply the M&E approach;
the quality of programme/project proposals and their implementation and reporting will
planning standards and common terminology will be established;
planning training will be tailored to the Federation’s National Societies’ and donors’ needs and
the Federation’s planning system will be harmonised with that of its different partners and
Introduction October 2002
in the long term, and after a certain period of training and implementing the M&E, National
Societies will improve their income generation and fund-raising, the quality of their
programmes/projects and their reporting.
National Societies are increasingly putting emphasis on Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment
(VCA). VCA is a new dynamic method of analysis promoted by the International Federation that
complements the needs-based approach. VCA can be used as an institutional capacity assessment
diagnostic tools and a programmatic tool to evaluation the effectiveness and impact of current
programmes. The traditional needs-based assessment is important to verify that emergency
preparedness, response and rehabilitation phases have fulfilled the basic requirements of people
affected by a crisis episode. The Nepal Red Cross has conducted two pilot VCAs using participatory
rural appraisal techniques, which showed vulnerability interrelated into seasonal migration,
landlessness and literacy and allowed a ranking of areas most at risk. M&E can allow progress in
response to VCA analysis to be overseen.
This M&E handbook together with other tools of the International Federation programming and
planning framework – BPI, PPP and VCA – form an essential toolkit for National Societies that
addresses their own management information needs as well as the needs of donors and stakeholders.
All tools in the toolkit can be used for a range of tasks but all tools require creative use.
“A federation-wide evaluation system that includes self-evaluation and peer review will be established
to measure progress in all core areas and incorporate learning into future programme development”
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