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9. Training module on participatory community monitoring and evaluation

Why participatory community monitoring and evaluation?

Participatory community monitoring and evaluation are extremely important for learning about the achievement/deviation from original concerns and problems faced by local development projects/programmes being implemented, so that corrective measures can be taken in time.

Evaluation is often carried out by donor agencies or policy makers and helps in assessing whether the project has brought benefits to those for whom it was intended. An evaluator is expected to examine:

Monitoring ensures that i) inputs are ready in time; ii) works plans are followed closely; iii) adjustments can be made and corrective action taken as and when necessary; iv) people who need to know are kept informed; v) constraints and bottlenecks are found; and vi) resources are used efficiently.

Aim of participatory monitoring and evaluation (pme)

  1. To assess information or generate data on development activities being carried out at the local community level.
  2. To facilitate monitoring and evaluation by beneficiaries of different development activities.
  3. To increase beneficiaries’ commitment and understanding in designing, planning and implementing community-based development projects or programmes.

Participatory monitoring involves local beneficiaries in measuring, recording, collecting, processing and communicating information to assist local development project extension workers and local group members in decision-making.

Participatory evaluation assists in adjusting and redefining objectives, reorganizing institutional arrangements or re-allocating resources as necessary. Monitoring and evaluation system (MES) allows continuous surveillance in order to assess the local development project’s impact on intended beneficiaries.

Involving local people in project evaluation is one of the learning objectives of participatory management. Apart from project’s impact on the life of the people, it is also worthwhile to evaluate: i) attitudinal changes in the local community about their role and sense of responsibility; ii) if people have gained confidence in their ability to undertake new activities; and iii) lessons about people’s capacity, extent of participation and community responsibilities.

It provides an opportunity to the project implementation committee to assess deficiencies in the project design - if objectives and work plan were realistic, if local funding was adequate and whether project actually owned by the people. Answers to these questions indicate future precautions and modifications in the method and approach. This in itself is an achievement in capacity building at the local level.

Role of community extension workers

  1. It is the responsibility of extension workers/community development motivators to make beneficiaries aware about the project/programmes and their objectives.

  2. Extension workers should develop and help beneficiaries identify indicators and measurements for each project activity. Based on these, extension workers should collect data on inputs and outputs by using simple formats and tables.

  3. Extension workers should process, organize and analyse the data for evaluation. For participatory evaluation, they should assist beneficiaries to understand the process, using simple procedures. After processing, organizing and analysing the data, extension workers must assess the impact of local development project activities.

Box 11.1 PME should be:

1. Demonstrative, not instructive in writing
2. Collaborative, not individualist or directive
3. Explorative, not repetitive
4. Listening to, not lecturing
5. Interactive, not dominating
6. Qualitative, not quantitative
7. For community/people, not project-oriented.

Steps in participatory monitoring and evaluation (PME)

Step I

Understanding goal/objectives of local development project/programme.

Step II

Identifying activities to achieve objectives.

Step III

Identifying measurements to assess results or show extent of progress achieved.

Step IV

Developing measurement indicators.

Step V

Identifying methods and techniques of collecting information.

Step VI

Selecting formats/visual tools for presenting information

Step I Goal: sustainable increase in productivity of sub-watershed within local community


Step II


Step III

Assessment measures

Step IV

Developing measurement indicators

Step V

Identifying methods of collecting information

At community level


Remember to collect data in

Step VI

Selecting formats/visual tools for presenting information

Table 11.1 Measurement Indicators

Indicators of organizational strength

Indicators of group participation

Indicators for gender issues (women in development)

Indicators for environmental issues

Number of villagers who know or who have heard about organization or groups

Number of groups or rural organizations

Funds allocated for women in development activities

Degree of rehabilitation of degraded areas

Frequency of attendance of participants in the meeting

Socio-economic composition of groups

Women’s share in benefit

Community forests protected, managed and utilized

Number of meetings held each month

Number of person/days of labour contributed

Women’s participation in decision making

Forest area increased


Material and money contributed by group

Women trained in various activities

Bio-diversity increased and protected


Joint funds collected from local sources and used for maintenance work

Change in time spent by women in domestic and farm activities

Landslide, soil erosion and floods decreased


Participation of farmers

Change in women’s income, expenditure and savings

Water-source increased and protected


Capacity to maintain local facilities

Position of women in different states

Decrease in incidence of environment-related diseases/disasters

Source: Conservation extension manual for mid-level technician/s, Local Development Training Academy, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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