Bridging The Gap? Implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation in International Development

Start date: 20 July, 2015 End date: 22 August, 2015 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A27781 Countries: Malawi Institutions: Roskilde University (RUC), Denmark Grant recipient: Laura Fahler-Compaore Total grant: 20,000 DKK



This thesis is a study of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in international development.  The purpose of the study was to examine and essentially be able to describe the root causes to the challenges in M&E procedures at field level with case in the Danish Non Governmental Organisation, BØRNEfonden and their country office in Burkina Faso. With an emphasised focus on the relationship between policy and practice, I found that the intended policies and guidelines for M&E were not put into practice and monitoring is restricted to operational management of activities while the greatly varied perceptions of M&E demonstrate the critical consequences of inadequate knowledge-sharing between the levels of the organisation and avoiding to implicate field staff in policy-making, only reinforcing a gap between the levels and consequently between policy and practice. In bridging a gap between theory and practice in international development did the applied literature review and theoretical contributions call for more learning-oriented approaches that acknowledge the social context as more dynamic than what can be measured by the conventional methods with quantifiable outputs and closed end-goals. Learning-oriented approach, that as well is appreciative of the implicated human relationships and the potential hierarchies existing within. The thesis endingly discusses how these strong rooted relationships essentially shape the practices and implementation of policies more than the policies themselves and in this perspective express an ambiguity of the substantial application to improve policies on M&E is fighting a loosing battle.