A periodic assessment (preferably every two to three years) of the national monitoring and evaluation system is generally recommended to review the implementation status of the national monitoring and evaluation plan, to identify weaknesses and to build on existing efforts. At the time of concept note submission, applicants are recommended to submit their national monitoring and evaluation plan including any M&E system strengthening activities and associated budget to address any challenges identified.
These plans should be developed based on a thorough assessment process involving all relevant stakeholders of the program within the country. This process allows countries to include in the concept note resources required for filling gaps in the monitoring and evaluation system. Countries with active grants are recommended to perform a monitoring and evaluation assessment if the last one was conducted more than two to three years ago.
Generally, the M&E system strengthening process includes: i) a periodic self-assessment of the national monitoring and evaluation system; ii) the development or review of the costed M&E plan including M&E system strengthening activities) based on the results of the self-assessment; iii) the implementation of the M&E plan; and iv) regular follow-up on the implementation status of the M&E plan.
Various tools are available to conduct a periodic self-assessment of the national monitoring and evaluation system. The table below provides an overview of the recommended M&E systems strengthening tools: