3.4. Engagement of Stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation

The engagement of stakeholders enlisted during planning and described in Section 2.2 continues to be relevant for monitoring and evaluation stages for the following reasons:

  • The stakeholders who set the vision and the prioritized results to realize that vision during the planning stage have the best ideas on how the results would continue to remain relevant to them. They must therefore be involved in identifying the information or feedback that is needed during implementation, which determines the parameters for monitoring and evaluation.
  • Having set the vision, priority results and initial parameters for monitoring and evaluation, the key stakeholders are best placed to ensure that the programmatic initiatives planned would deliver what was intended and the way it was intended.

Stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation can produce effective communication for various other objectives. These include: facilitate communication of ‘early wins’ to increase support and enlist engagement of those who are not yet engaged, ensure access of early products and services of initiatives for intended beneficiaries, mobilize additional resources to fill resource gaps, and ensure effective use of lessons learned in future decision-making.

Stakeholder participation throughout the programming cycle ensures ownership, learning and sustainability of results. Continued stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation cannot be assumed. It must be institutionalized. Specific measures have to be built into programme and project management processes to ensure continued and effective involvement of stakeholders. The UNDP practice of institutionalizing stakeholder engagement is summarized in Box 20.

Box 20. Stakeholder involvement in monitoring and evaluation: Practice of UNDP

The programme management approach used by UNDP is designed to ensure that: a programme contributes to the achievement of the outcomes covered in the programme; a programme and its projects are coordinated within the national development framework; and agreed outputs are generated through projects and programme funds. This involves three levels: the programme level, which would cover one or more outcomes and provide linkage to overall national results; the sectoral or outcome level; and the project level, which relates to operational level of delivery of outputs by implementing activities using resources. The responsibilities for monitoring and evaluation are different at each programming level. (See Chapter 4 for further details.)

The participation of stakeholders is institutionalized in the management arrangements by boards or committees at the programme, sectoral/outcome and project levels. These boards or committees should not duplicate existing mechanisms but instead use existing national structures and mechanisms. If no mechanisms exist, efforts should be made to constitute groups that fulfil such functions. Each board or committee should have representatives of the owners, the beneficiaries and suppliers of technical services.

Sectoral or outcome level: There is a need to coordinate UNDP contributions to outcomes and provide feedback into the overall UNDP programme management. UNDP often participates in national sectoral coordination mechanisms to make explicit the link between UNDP contributions and national priorities. The sectoral or outcome level coordination mechanisms: promote partnerships bringing together all projects concerned within a single shared outcome; ensure synergy and reinforce a common strategy among partners towards results; and monitor the achievement of outcomes. Also, the UNDP programme manager should ensure that UNDP-supported outputs are coordinated at the outcome level.

Programme and Project Boards: Programme and Project Boards meet at a minimum annually to review annual progress of results, agree on any changes as required, and set new annual targets. These boards are management entities of the UNDP programme and focus on the UNDP contribution to national development results.