My final comment concerns Monitoring & Evaluation. This is a major concern as it has to be done objectively and independent of the projects being monitored. The most important objective of an M&E program is to guide future programs to better serve the beneficiaries. Thus in addition to protecting the under writing taxpayers in assuring their taxes are being effectively invested and the beneficiaries are profiting as much as possible, the M&E effort also represents the beneficiaries. What they cannot be is a tool for propagandizing the projects. Unfortunately, the USAID MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning) program is far more intent on propagandizing then evaluation and does wonder to develop impressive but meaningless number, making innovations that by all normal standards are total failures, appear to be highly successful. This does nothing for the beneficiaries, and reinforces the failure to be included in future projects. Hopefully, FAO can do considerable better and develop M&E programs that effectively guide future projects.
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