Data collected routinely by governments and by program implementers can be leveraged to inform and evaluate social and behavior change (SBC) programs.
Low-Cost Monitoring and Evaluation
UPDATED 16 March 2021
The development community often strongly focuses on results, which monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes can confirm and support. However, effective M&E processes may be expensive and resource heavy. They do not have to be.
M&E is important for at least two audiences: the funder and the program team. Social and behavior change (SBC) programs must often fulfill donor evaluation requirements to provide evidence of effective use of funds. Programs also want to see those results for their own programming purposes to understand both what works and where shifts should be made.
In some settings, an in-house M&E team is not a viable option, and programs may have few funds available for hiring external firms or consultants. However, programs still need to be responsive to data and show impact. SBC programs must be able to identify and use low-cost M&E alternatives to meet those needs.
To this end, we have compiled a list of resources and project examples on conducting M&E at low-cost. We invite our users to add their own resources to the Compass.
This guide helps key staff and community volunteers assess and improve their efforts to abate HIV/AIDS.
This resource helps groups working on community led approaches to climate change and energy conduct their own M&E.
This article discusses the use of smartphones for M&E. As the cost of smartphones drops, and as the growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp continues to increase worldwide, the range of possibilities for phone-based M&E is becoming both more diverse and more complex.
This article explains that evaluation expenses are highly situational with no simple way to calculate costs. It offers several steps involved in costing a program's evaluation.
This paper illustrates the feasibility and value of low-cost randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for policy officials and researchers, by providing concrete examples from diverse program areas.
The Echo cloud-based platform provides a way of monitoring projects that requires no information technology or programming skills to use.
This resource discusses how SBC programs usually plan for M&E from the very first planning steps, but that depending on the funding, M&E budgets can at times be limited. Planners must figure out how to evaluate the program on a limited budget.
This brief offers practical guidance on how to use social listening as a tool to inform SBC programs. It is intended for global and regional SBC program implementers, evaluators, and donors in USAID priority countries.
IndiKit was developed by the Czech INGO People in Need (PIN). It aims to make M&E of relief and development interventions easier and better by helping humanitarian and development workers to use well-formulated project indicators. It also helps them to correctly collect and analyze the data required for each indicator.
Numerous guidelines outline best practices for health program M&E. However, health programs are often implemented in less-than-ideal circumstances where these best practices may not be resourced or feasible.
This brief states that M&E does not have to be time-consuming or expensive to be worthwhile, but it does require some resources to plan it, collect information, and use the results to strengthen your program. It will guide programs in making the most of a limited budget.
Program evaluations in a LRS can be challenging in that the program staff may not have the skills or capacity to see it through. However, agencies often require formal evaluation of their funded programs which may lead to the hiring of a contract evaluator.
This document provides information on how community health workers (CHWs) can support contact tracing efforts related to COVID-19 in low resource and resource-limited non-U.S. settings. The considerations provided can be adapted to follow national or local guidelines and account for local context.
Community-led monitoring (CLM) is a technique initiated and implemented by local community-based organizations and other civil society groups, networks of key populations (KP), people living with HIV (PLHIV), and other affected groups, or other community entities that gather quantitative and qualitative data about HIV services.
Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria managers sent reminder messages to people who received referrals for health services (e.g., antenatal care, immunization, malaria testing).
In 2016, Solidarity and Action Against the HIV Infection in India began a partnership with Janssen Global Public Health, an initiative of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The initiative, named m-Maitri, aimed to complement on-the-ground efforts at ensuring retention in the prevention of parent-to-child transmission cascade with interactive voice response (IVR) to consenting pregnant women and mother-baby pairs until the babies reach 18 months of age.
Kenyan girls miss four days of school every month, often due to pain connected to their menstrual cycle, lack of sanitary products and lack of knowledge about their period. This problem is acute in low-income settlements, where sanitary products are costly and hard to find, school facilities are inadequate, and health education is poor.