Guidance on M&E for Civil Society Programs: Prepared for AusAID Program Managers

>A report< by Linda Kelly, Rosalind David, Chris Roche. December 2008


“AusAID supports a range of civil society programs across several countries. These include large scale bi-lateral programs as well as smaller projects focused on particular sectors and programs which support the work of non-Government Organisations (NGOs).

Civil society work is different from many of the other areas of development work supported through the aid program. It explicitly seeks to serve people through enabling them to undertake their own development, relying as far as possible upon their own skills and resources. As such it focused on enabling and empowering processes. The ways things are done, in particular the way in which people are able to control their own development, is as important, perhaps more important, than what is achieved. This holds true for all aspects of civil society programs including the monitoring and evaluation of such programs.

In light of these differences and the challenges it presents for aid management, this document provides guidance for AusAID program managers about how to approach monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for civil society programs. It provides guidance for the AusAID program manager about what to look for (and avoid) at the key stages of a program in order to ensure that civil society processes are maintained and enhanced through the assessment processes. Attention is also given to how gender should be addressed throughout assessment processes.

The guidance has been developed after review of international best practice (see Annex one), which highlighted the specific difficulties of civil society work and the challenges these raise for M&E. Consultation with AusAID program managers and program implementers has also informed this guidance.

The guidance is divided into four sections:

1) Section 1 covers design. This section considers aspects of analysis and design which are
relevant to M&E.

2) The second section focuses on implementation and how M&E should be expected to
evolve through this period.

3) The next section looks at reporting.

4) The final section addresses evaluation of civil society and community development

A short section for senior managers is also attached. This short summary is designed to help them understand and assess the resources and skills they need within their program staff for
managing civil society programs

For more information contact

3 thoughts on “Guidance on M&E for Civil Society Programs: Prepared for AusAID Program Managers”

  1. That’s excellent initiative. But how could I obtain a copy of this report. I am very much interested as it will help with my PhD work. thanks

  2. the abstract shows that this piece of work is wonderful! Could it be availed to other people working on development projects though not supported by AusAID?

    I would love a copy, thank you.


  3. If you want a copy click on the link above, where it says
    >A report< by Linda Kelly


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