National forest programmes
Monitoring and evaluation
In the cyclical process, this phase concerns the evaluation of the implementation progress of the entire nfp process and the assessment of its impacts. It includes indicators of progress based on the different principles and takes place at different levels, involving different stakeholders Depending on the evaluation results, policies, strategies and action plans may be continued, further developed or amended.
The most important activity at the inception of this phase is to select the issues to be monitored. Leading questions are: What information do we need (based on which criteria)? How can we measure these issues (indicators)? Pointing out the means of verification for each indicator will facilitate its regular measurement. Usually, indicators are developed in a participatory way (e.g. in a workshop specifically for that purpose) so that all stakeholder groups are represented, and are monitored by a specific M&E unit, which should be established to support the nfp coordination mechanism.
Checking achievements and impacts against the IPF/IFF Proposals for Action should be part of the M&E process, and is a good start to support the identification of the country nfp indicators. Also, it is important to note that M&E is not limited to aspects within the forest sector, but covers phenomena that may emerge in other sectors.
The outcomes of evaluations are commonly presented as evaluation reports, which should be prepared based on the expressed needs of the target groups. Apart from this kind of formalized institutional learning, informal processes of reflection and review shall take place. This more elevated degree of knowledge and awareness at the end of the M&E phase, when attained by all participants, will be reflected in the elaboration of the following loop of the nfp cycle.