Original Research

Implementation of a project-based comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire: Key lessons

Daniel O. Chachu
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 7, No 1 | a387 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v7i1.387 | © 2019 Daniel O. Chachu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 March 2019 | Published: 19 August 2019

About the author(s)

Daniel O. Chachu, Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana


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Abstract

Background: The quest for an appropriate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) design that delivers accountability, supports management and facilitates learning is one that many organisations grapple with. Over the years, experiences in project and/or programme development and delivery led the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organization (ILO-IPEC) to consolidate M&E efforts towards the development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy.

Objectives: The aim of this article is to present lessons from the design and implementation of a theory of change-driven comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy in a child labour project rolled out in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The 5-year project was implemented during 2011–2015 by ILO-IPEC with support from the United States Department of Labour (USDOL).

Methods: This article critically analyses project documents (including evaluations) and captures the reflections and experiences of key project staff involved in the project.

Results: Timeless lessons are distilled, along with key phases of the project cycle. Critical markers include the importance of stakeholders’ involvement in the design and development of a M&E strategy as a pre-requisite for buy-in and uptake. We find capacity building not just as a box to be ticked but an iterative process to improve knowledge, transfer skills and support learning. In addition to paying attention to technical elements, the soft issues of patience, flexibility and simplicity are discussed as invaluable ingredients for realising M&E goals.

Conclusion: While not exhaustive, it is hoped that these lessons would contribute to a minimum set of guidelines for improving M&E practice within projects and programmes.


Keywords

theory of change; monitoring; evaluation; results; child labour

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