Participatory Research and Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management: A Sourcebook - Vol. 1

By Julian Gonsalves; Thomas Becker et al. | Go to book overview

13
Monitoring and Evaluating
Participatory Research and
Development: Some Key Elements

The deliberate and careful integration into the project cycle of monitoring and evaluation activities can strengthen the learning, accountability, and effectiveness of research efforts. Using a participatory approach to do so facilitates the realization that what matters is not only what is assessed, but who does the measuring and assessing. In addition, such an approach can contribute to a better understanding of how different concerns and interests are represented and negotiated in a research process. In other words, it helps to understand and assess how and why participation takes places or does not take place.

For more information, refer to:
McAllister, K. and R. Vernooy. 1999.
Action and Reflection: A Guide for
Monitoring and Evaluating
Participatory Research. Ottawa:
IDRC. http://www.idrc.ca/cbnrm

Monitoring is the systematic, regular collection and occasional analysis of information to identify and possibly measure changes over a period of time. Evaluation is the analysis of the effectiveness and direction of an activity or research project and involves making a judgement about progress and impact. The main differences between monitoring and evaluation are the timing and frequency of observations and the types of questions asked. However, when monitoring and evaluation are integrated into a research strategy as a project management tool, the line between the two becomes rather blurred. Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) is the joint effort or partnership of two or more stakeholders (such as researchers, farmers, government officials, extension workers) to monitor and evaluate, systematically, one or more research or development activities (Vernooy et al., 2003).

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