This webpage is devoted to various resources I have found useful and recommend for M&E practice, learning, capacity building and development. For the most part, I have limited my recommendations to those resources that can be accessed freely online, and will try to keep hyperlinked addresses up-to-date. However, internet addresses often change, and if a hyperlinked resource does not work, let me know; in the meantime, an online search using the resource title should lead you to it. Please contact me if you come across an oversight or have additional resources you would like to bring to my attention.
QUICK LINKS FOR THIS PAGE
Some Recommended Publications for M&E
Collaborative Websites for M&E
University Websites for M&E
Organization Websites for M&E
VOPE Websites for M&E
Individuals’ Websites & Blogs for M&E
Listservs & Communities of Practice for M&E
Open Educational Resources for M&E
Training & Learning Resources for M&E
Some Recommended Publications for M&E
There is no shortage of publications for M&E practice and learning available from various online outlets, many of which I highlight in the categories below. It would be a slippery slope if I were to start a list of all that I have found useful in my M&E career; furthermore, many of the collaborative and organizational websites I later recommend on this webpage already provide such lists. Thus, I will limit myself to a very “shortlist” of some key publications here:
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) M&E. As I have worked for the IFRC for eight years, a good place to start is to highlight some specific resources for M&E learning and practice we have developed for planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (PMER). On the public IFRC M&E webpage, there are a variety of freely available publications for M&E learning and practice, designed for a wide range of stakeholders in cross-cultural settings:
- Monitoring and Evaluation Planning: Guidelines and Tools (2008). Authored by Scott Chaplowe (me), this is one of a series of modules funded by an Institutional Capacity Building grant from USAID as part of a M&E training and capacity-building series to respond to field-identified needs for specific guidance and tools. The series also includes modules on Capacity Building Guidance, Indicator Performance Tracking Tables, Hiring M&E Staff, preparing for an Evaluation, Communicating and Reporting on an Evaluation, Effective Report Writing, and Success and Learning Stories. While the individual modules can be accessed on various websites, they are currently all available (as of 2016) on the website of Sea Change (another useful resource for M&E of climate change interventions).
Watch my 20 minute AEA webinar on M&E Planning based on the above publication.
- Ten Steps to a Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System (2004). Authored by Jody Kusek and Ray Rist for the World Bank, this handbook provides, “a comprehensive ten-step model that will help guide development practitioners through the process of designing and building a results-based monitoring and evaluation system.” This is an invaluable resource, although more targeted towards national, government agencies than smaller civil society and community organizations.
- Results-based Management Handbook (2011). This publication from the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) is available in both English and Spanish. It does not go so much into practical details, but provides an handy introduction to RBM concepts and approaches targeted to the country level.
- Who Counts Reality? Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (1998). Although written some years ago, this is a fine overview of participatory M&E, authored by Marisol Estrella and John Baenta for the Institute of Development Studies. A nice complement to this IDS report is the book, Learning from Change: Issues and Experiences in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (2000), edited by Marisol Estrella et. al.
- Making Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Work: A Capacity Development Toolkit (2009). This 493 page resource book is a gem, authored by Marelize Goergens and Jody Zall Kusek for the World Bank. It is chockful of conceptual background information and practical advice that can be tailored to different organizational contexts.
- A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Decisions, and Achieving Development Results (2012). Written for the World Bank by Watikins et. al., this 300 page resource is useful for assessing and analyzing needs for a variety of purposes, (informing program and project design and the eventual M&E systems developed to support implementation and assessment).
Collaborative Websites for M&E
There are a host of valuable websites for M&E practice and learning from collaborative initiatives, offering a variety of resources, such as virtual libraries, toolkits, blogs, email lists, communities of practice, and e-learning opportunities, such as webinars and webcasts.
- Better Evaluation. It is appropriate for me to start with one of my favorite online resources for M&E! BetterEvaluation is provided by an international collaboration to improve evaluation practice and theory by sharing and generating information about options (methods or processes) and approaches. It is chockfull of information and resources and links for M&E. For instance, download the Equal Access Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit (Lennie, Tacchi, Koirala, Wilmore, & Skuse, 2011), which includes six modules and related manuals and tools that are very useful for M&E training.
- Monitoring and Evaluation News. Managed by Rick Davies and launched in 1997, this remains a mainstay for M&E learning, resources, sharing and networking. And for good reason as Rick and the MandE community are very active; for example, sign up for their M&E News email list of over 2500 members.
- EvalPartners. This global partnership seeks to enhance the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) to effectively engage in evaluation, with a specific focus on strengthening the institutional capacity of Voluntary Organizations of Professional Evaluators (VOPEs). Check out their Virtual Library of resources, and I especially recommend the recently developed EvalPartners’ Toolkit to develop advocacy strategies to strengthen an enabling environment for evaluation, (although I confess my biase because I was part of the working group for this toolkit).
- MEASURE Evaluation. A collaboration between USAID and university and private partners, this online resources provides a host of materials for M&E learning, including trainer resources, online courses, a webinar series, publications, tools, and much more. For example, check out the publication, M&E Fundamentals: A Self-guided Minicourse (Frankel & Gage, 2007).
- CLEAR. This website for Regional Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results is part of the CLEAR global team’s effort to improve policy through strengthening monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and capacities. The Knowledge Hub has publications, events, videos, and resources for capacity development, specific to regions of the world, e.g. Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.
- PREVAL. Since 1997, this longstanding global platform supports national and local government institutions, project technical units, and rural organizations to build and strengthen their capacity to develop and implement Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) systems for information to feed into decision making and learning.
- InterAction. Based in Washington D.C., this is an alliance of over 180 NGO members from around the world, with a website that offers useful M&E resources, such as a link to Training that includes a four-part series developed with the Rockefeller Foundation with guidance notes on impact evaluation, each accompanied by two webinars related to the notes’ contents.
- ALNAP. The Active Learning Network for Accountability and performance in Humanitarian Action offers a variety of resources supporting evaluation in humanitarian contexts, such as its Evaluation of Humanitarian Action guide in three languages, and its e-learning course, Introduction to Evaluating Humanitarian Action, in partnership with UNICEF, EvalPartners and UNEG.
- The Evaluation Toolbox. An online resource from Swinburne University of Technology and Australian public partners, it is a ‘one-stop-site’ for community sustainability engagement, with an assortment of resources (e.g. guidelines, tools, templates, and case studies) for community projects that aim to change household behaviors
University Websites for M&E
In addition to being a valuable resource for M&E formal education, (e.g., see the University Programs webpage on the AEA website), universities offer many free resources and opportunities for M&E learning and practice. (Some of the websites below could classify as “collaborative sites as well, but seemed best to place them here). Some of my favorites include:
- Western Michigan University’s Evaluation Center. This valuable website includes webpages for an Evaluation Café with free webinars recorded for viewing (webcasts), and its well-received Evaluation Checklists on over twenty-five topics related to M&E.
- Oregon State University’s Program Evaluation Capacity Building Webinar Series. In addition to freely viewable webinars on program ECB, this online resource from OSU includes accompanying PowerPoint slides.
- Wageningen University’s Managing for Impact Portal. Focusing on Participatory Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), this portal provides an overview of what is happening worldwide in the area of PPME and managing for impact, with links to a variety of resources, tools and methods.
- Claremont Evaluation Center. In addition to publications and a free online training in International Development Evaluation, this website also offers a well-received webinar series on the discipline and profession of evaluation.
- International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET). A collaborative effort between the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank and the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University, IPDET’s a website has a Resource Center with speaker presentations, publications and other links useful for M&E training.
Organizations’ Websites for M&E
This category is another slippery slope that can turn into a book of resources. Many civil society organizations (CSOs) have a wealth of information for M&E practice and learning. For example, in addition to the IFRC, check out Save the Children’s Evaluation Handbook (2012), CARE’s Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation System Design for Value Chain Projects (2012), Mercy Corps’ Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Guidebook (2015), and World Visions’ Learning through Evaluation with Accountability & Planning (LEAP) Guide (2007). Below I recommend some additional organizational resources from notable development organizations.
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Above I highlight some key M&E-related publications from the IFRC designed for a wide range of stakeholders in cross-cultural settings, and freely available on its public website on the IFRC M&E webpage. In addition to these publications, the IFRC Learning Platform has a host of online learning resources available in multiple languages, including the well-received Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation self-guided e-learning course, as well as the Project/Programme Planning e-learning course. These online courses are free to the public after registering, (and can be found with keyword search).
- United Nations. The various agencies at the UN offer a variety of M&E-related resources for learning, typically targeted at the regional, national and global levels A good place to start is the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), which has a community of practice, database and a link in its Document Library to a host of guidance documents, including UNEG’s National Evaluation Capacity Development: Practical Tips on How to Strengthen National Evaluation Systems. At the UNICEF Evaluation and Good Practices website, one can access the interactive M&E Training Modules, and it’s Evaluation and Lessons Learned webpage offers a host of M&E-related resources, with external links to other online outlets for M&E. The Independent Evaluation Group has a webpage devoted to Evaluation Capacity Development, and the World Bank has a a useful webpage devoted to Evaluation Resources. The UNDP Evaluation website offers with links to publications, guidance, an Evaluation Resource Center and more; check out the Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results (UNDP, 2014).
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD has various webpages to support M&E capacity development, including those devoted the Evaluation of Development Programs, Developing Evaluation Capacities, and the DAC Evaluation Resource Center, which hosts a comprehensive list of evaluation guidelines, including the widely used, tri-lingual Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results-Based Management.
- The Global Fund. An international partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, the Global Fund has a robust system for M&E, including their webpage for Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as their webpage for E-Learning Courses. For example, check out their Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit for HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Health and Community Systems Strengthening.
- The Evaluation & Communication in Practice website. From the International Development Research Centre (IDRC/CRDI) and UKaid, this useful website provides utilization-focused evaluation and research communication mentoring tools and case studies. Its Resources & Publications page hosts case studies, reports, webinars and other useful resources, including the Utilization Focused Evaluation Primer (Ramirez & Brodhead, 2013), which is freely available as a PDF in three languages.
- Online Evaluation Resource Library (OERL). Developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for professionals seeking to design, conduct, document, or review project evaluations. It includes professional development modules that can be used to better understand and utilize the materials made available.
- Corporation for National and Community Service. This US federal program, with the mission to strengthen communities and improve lives through civil engagement, has a webpage devoted to Evaluation Resources, as well as online courses, such as its Performance Measurement module series.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC Program Performance and Evaluation Office is another example of a government agency (US) chockful of resources to support M&E learning and practice. Many of these are focused on various health areas, such as Adolescent and School Health, and others are more general, such as their Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self-Study Guide (2011).
- Evaluation Capacity Development Group. ECDG is a nonprofit organization created in 2004 with a mission “to bring together diverse perspectives dedicated to developing evaluation capacity within organizations through tools, resources, and communication that facilitate others meeting their mission.” Its website hosts provides access to their Guide to Evaluation Capacity Development, as well as case studies, models, and other guides and tools.
- USAID’s Learning Lab. Provided by the United States Agency for International Development, this online resource has links to M&E resources, such as a Learning Library and its Learning Guide with links to a Performance Management Plan Toolkit, Data Quality Assessment Checklist, and the USAID Evaluation Toolkit.
Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) Websites for M&E
There is an array of valuable online resources for M&E practice and learning that can be accessed from the websites of evaluation associations and societies (Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation, VOPEs). Some key examples include:
- International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE). This is a good place to start to get a sense of the abundance of VOPES today. It is an international partnership of VOPEs to provide leadership in evaluation worldwide by supporting organizational capacity for VOPES. Check out the Members webpage for a listing by international, national, and regional VOPEs, which can lead you to their specific websites.
- American Evaluation Association (AEA). This is a great example of a VOPE that offers a range of resources for M&E learning, including, Coffee Break Webinars, eStudy webinars, AEA365 (providing a free daily blog on tips, resources and lessons for evaluators), and a Thought Leader Discussion Series from prominent evaluators.
- International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). This independent association has a worldwide membership of both individuals and organizations, supporting knowledge sharing and networking for development evaluation, particularly in developing and transition countries. Its website includes various resources for M&E capacity development and related topics, including case studies, articles, reports, tools, indicators, book reviews, as well as links to additional resources and evaluation associations.
Individuals’ Websites & Blogs for M&E
Another valuable source for M&E learning and practice are the array of personal websites and blogs available on M&E and related topics. It is well beyond my capacity to review all of these, and I really do not need to as the American Evaluation Association (AEA) does a pretty good job on their webpage for Evaluator and Evaluation Blogs. However, I will flag three examples of individual websites that I have found especially useful:
- Global Social Change Research Project. Created by applied sociologist, Gene Shackman, this longstanding website offers a host of free resources for program evaluation and social research.
- Social Research Methods. Hosted by former AEA President Michael Trochim, this website provides useful introductions and links to additional resources for evaluation and research.
- Evaluation Portal. This website offers “hand-picked, human-edited, categorized information about the topic “evaluation” from Lars Balzer.
Listservs & Communities of Practice for M&E
There is an increasing availability of listservs and communities of practice related to M&E, reflecting the increasing demand for M&E practice and knowledge sharing. One can carouse Facebook for M&E-related groups. I will limit my recommendations to some other communities of practice (listservs) I have found useful for M&E:
- Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS: One of the longest and most successful listservs for M&E, with more than 2500 members worldwide, and an archive of over 4600 posts and related documents. It is appropriate that the website of the same name where this listserv can be accessed also has a webpage devoted to Other M&E Email Lists.
- XCeval. Initially set up for the International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association, this listserv is for people interested in issues associated with international and cross-cultural evaluation. While many of the postings are announcements of short-term consultancies or full-time positions in international M&E-related jobs, there are also exchanges of ideas of current interest to persons involved in the evaluation of international development.
- Pelican Initiative. This is a listserv for evidence-based learning and communication for social change. It brings together professionals of different development-related backgrounds to enable them to share experiences and trigger discussions to address a key question: “How can we learn more from what we do while at the same time having the biggest possible impact on the social change processes in which we engage?”
- AIMEnet (HIV/AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Network) Group. Although this network is aimed at improving the M&E of HIV/AIDS and related programs through sharing of experience and expertise, I have found it a great resource for M&E sharing in general. It recently moved to LinkedIn (below) and I have yet to see how this platform holds up to its prior success. Nevertheless, I wanted to highlight it as its own entry here.
- LinkedIn M&E-Related Groups. There are a variety of groups (communities of practice) that one can sign up with after registering with LinkedIn; for example, consider Monitoring and Evaluation Professionals, and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Monitoring and Evaluation – Development, Discussion and Training.
Open Educational Resources for M&E
This category actually covers a wealth of resources that can support M&E learning and practice. OER encompasses teaching and learning materials freely available online for anyone, whether you are a practitioner, teacher, or learner. Like many of the categories on this webpage, the list of OER resources can be extensive, but I will limit myself to some notable ones I am familiar with.
- OER Knowledge Cloud. This website, regularly updated by professional librarian and volunteers, has a database to a variety of journal articles, reports and books freely available. For example, A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) (Butcher 2011) from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) a valuable introduction to the topic.
- OER Commons. Created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge management in Education, this is a open educational resources (OER) mainstay, linking visitors to the website to freely accessible OER and other freely available instructional materials.
- OpenCourseWare (OCW). There are a variety of online platforms that offer a range of freely available course lessons, many related to M&E, training and adult education. For example, search subjects at MIT’s Open Courseware website, or the website of the Open Education Consortium.
- Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). There are a variety of online platforms that offer MOOCs from top universities and organizations worldwide for anyone to take, including subjects on M&E, training, and adult education. For example, check out Coursera and MOOC List.
Training & Learning Resources for M&E
Firstly, I would be amiss not to call out our own book, M&E Training: A Systematic Approach. As I discuss in my first blog for this website, Why a Book on M&E Training?, I believe our book fills a gap in the literature for M&E capacity building. In addition to the webpage devoted to the book on this website, you can freely download two sample chapters from the book: Training that Makes a Difference, and What Makes a Good M&E?
1. Useful Websites on Training (in general)
- Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. This website from Don Clark is chockfull of information and resources for training and adult learning, ranging from history and theory to methods and practical tools. If I started directing you to specific pages, this would end up in a whole separate webpage itself. Click the link and check it out.
- Association for Talent Development (ATD). Formerly call the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), this website is a valuable is another valuable resource for professional training, including its useful Online Glossary and free e-book, Creative Facilitation Techniques for Training (Patrick, 2011).
- MIT’s Training & Development Website. A sharp website with sections devoted to trainees as well as trainers. The Training Delivery Guide includes a particularly handy method matrix to consider many of the different training options for training delivery. I also like the interactive Key Questions Form to prepare and evaluate training delivery.
- International Training & Education Center for Health (I-TECH). This handy website offers resources for each stage of training, including evaluation guidance, worksheets, forms and questionnaires that are available for free download. For example, check out its webpage for Training Delivery – Training Methods, with links for teaching with trigger films to ice breakers and energizing groups.
- Free Management Library. This is a great, nonprofit resource that provides free, easy-to-access, online articles for personal, professional and organizational development. It also has links to virtual courses, online groups, a blog directory, and more. For example, check out the webpages on Assessing Your Training Needs: Needs Assessment to Training Goals and Complete Guidelines to Design Your Training Plan.
- Businessballs. Although focused on business training and organizational development, this website has a wealth of free resources that can support M&E training: “inspirational, innovative ideas, materials, exercises, tools, templates.”
- Training and Development Policy Wiki. This webpage of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (USOPM) is designed to assist agencies in evaluating their training programs. It include seminar materials, as well as a link to its Training Evaluation Field Guide (2011).
- Instructional Design Knowledge Base. Offered by Nada Dabbagh at George Mason University, this website provides guidance and resources for instructional design, with an interactive pages for doing an instructional design project and locating a bunch of related, useful resources.
- Needs Assessment Guide. I was impressed by this handy, interactive website from the NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, with links to straightforward steps, case studies and resources that can inform analysis for training as well as other initiatives.
- Trainers Advice. One of the many examples of private websites offering free training plans templates, as well as other resources for free or to buy.
- LinkedIn SlideShare. While this is not specific to M&E, this website offers an assortment of resources to support M&E learning and practice. While the website is primarily for slide hosting, it also supports sharing documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.(It was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012.)
2. Planning and Evaluating M&E Training and Learning
In Part 2 of our book, we devote chapters specifically on training analysis, design, development, and evaluation. In our research, we found an abundance of books for purchased on training and instructional design in general, but I limit my recommendations here to especially useful publications for planning and evaluating M&E training freely online. While I recommend these resources for “planning and evaluating” M&E training, it is worth noting that some are not specific to planning and evaluating M&E training, and can be adapted to other training contexts.
- Training Works! (2003). This publication from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provides a very user-friendly, generic summary of key components of training: management, design, delivery and evaluation.
- Learning for Performance. A Guide and Toolkit for Health Worker Training and Education (2007). Don’t let the title fool you; this practical resource can inform training for M&E and a variety of other subjects. Funded by USAID, it was developed by IntraHealth International and partners as part of The Capacity Project, and on their website you can find additional resources for training.
- Training and Learning Standards: A Checklist and Tool for Developing and Implementing High-Quality Training and Learning Interventions (2012). The focus of this publication is captured in its subtitle; itis another valuable publication from IntraHealth International, available in English, French and Spanish.
- Effective Teaching: A Guide for Educating Healthcare Providers (2005). Developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and JHPIEGO, this 270-page guide covers a range of topics that inform not only healthcare training, but training on any subject, from developing learning objectives to managing the learning environment and conducting learning assessment.
- Standards for a Competency-based Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation Curricula & Trainings. Developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), this is an example of an organization-specific resource for M&E training. In addition to providing standards for essential competencies for those in M&E leadership positions, it also covers standards for the development and implementation of related M&E curricula/trainings to improve these M&E competencies.
- Ministry of Interior and Japan International Cooperation Agency. I could not locate a “master website” for these resources, but found the English manuals on training, all freely available online, to be quite useful: Manual on Training Needs Assessment, Manual on Training Planning, Manual of Training Preparation, Manual on Training Management, and Manual of Training Evaluation.
- Making Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Work: A Capacity Development Toolkit. This 493 page resource book is a gem, authored by Marelize Goergens and Jody Zall Kusek for the World Bank. I listed this as a recourse valuable for M&E in general, but it is worth listing here again as it can specifically support M&E training and related capacity development.
- A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Decisions, and Achieving Development Results (2012). Written for the World Bank by Watikins et. al., this 300 page resource is useful for assessing and analyzing needs for a variety of purposes, including M&E training. (Yes, I have listed this above as well as a valuable M&E resource in general).
- Training Package Assessment Materials Guide (2001). Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), this package contains ten guides (downloadable in PDF). Yes, so many resources can be a bit overwhelming, but a good one to start with that is adaptable for M&E training is the overview guide of the same name as the series.
- Introduction – The Logic of Backward Design (2010). From the Alliance for Education and Community Development (AECD), this free publication provides a 28-page look at backwards design that can be adapted for M&E training, with example templates.
- Writing Good Learning Objectives (2010). From International Training & Education Center for Health, this concise, 8-page resource is flexible for a variety of training needs, including M&E.
- Evaluating Training in WHO (2010). This is an example of an organization-specific guide that is useful to adapt for other training contexts, such as M&E. Developed by the World Health Organization, it provides an approach to training evaluation based on the Kirkpatrick’s model of four levels. It includes examples of evaluation tools in its annexes.
- A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions (2009). Authored by Haillie Preskill and Nathalie Jones for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this useful guide a five-step process for involving stakeholders in developing evaluation questions that can be adapted for M&E training, including a set of four worksheets to facilitate this process.
- Evaluation Reporting: A Guide to Help Ensure Use of Evaluation Findings (2013). From the U.S. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, this is a handy, 22-page publication for program evaluation reporting, with generic guidance that is applicable to evaluation reporting for a variety of interventions, such as M&E training.
- The Evaluation Exchange. This online periodical from the Harvard Family Research Project contains lessons on emerging strategies for evaluating programs and policies, particularly those focused on children, families, and communities. For example, the Winter 2005/2006 Volume (XI:4), focuses on the evaluation of professional development across a range of fields. I highly recommend the piece in this volume, A Conversation with Thomas R. Guskey; as highlighted in our book on M&E training, Guskey’s framework for training evaluation builds upon Kirkpatrick’s classic four levels with valuable attention to the assessment of the context in which new knowledge and skill is intended to be transferred.
3. Delivering M&E Training
In our book , Chapter 4 on Adult Learning and Chapter 10 on Training Implementation examines adult learning principles and tips for training delivery, and Part 3 on M&E Training Methodologies and Techniques profiles 99 example activities for M&E training, organized into 21 categories of activity types. Check out my blog, Logical Bridge, which is abstracted from the book, which provides an example activity for making M&E learning fun and engaging. There is an assortment of other useful books for purchase on training delivery, but these tend to be more generic to training in general and not specific to M&E training. This is also true for most of the resources I found freely available online, of which I have listed some of my favorites below.
- A Trainer’s Guide for Participatory Learning & Action (1995). Written by Pretty et. al. for the International Institute for Environment and Development, this 270-page resources is in my opinion a classic, providing a comprehensive background to the principles of adult learning, focusing on facilitation skills, group dynamics and building interdisciplinary teams, and 101 interactive training games and exercises.
- Participatory Processes towards Co-Management of Natural Resources in Pastoral Areas of the Middle East (2003). Authored by Chatty et. al. for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), this sourcebook provides a useful overview for training of trainers as its subtitle reflects: “Based on the Principles of Participatory Methods and Approaches.”
- Manual for Media Trainers. A Learner-Centred Approach (2001). Authored by Drew McDaniel and Duncan Brown for AIBD and UNESCO, this publication is written for media trainers, but I found this a very informative and user- friendly introduction to the concepts and practice of learner-centered training.
- Advanced Training of Trainers (2007). From Pathfinder International, this resource consists of a trainer’s guide and a participant’s guide. The former covers topics ranging from analyzing training need to evaluation and follow-up.
- Trainer’s Toolbox of Training Techniques (1995). Compiled by David Mason for the International Labour Organization (ILO), this publication is for training of trainers in labour-based road construction and maintenance, but it’s straightforward profile of 33 activity types for training is generic and adaptable to various training contexts.
- Training of Trainers: Trainers’ Guide (2006). This hands-on guide is organized by days, with day 1-3 focused on designing quality training materials, while days 4-5 focus on effective training delivery techniques. It has a companion manual, Participant’s Manual: A Guide to Key Content and Resources (2006).
- Training of Facilitators (2012). Funded by USAID, this is a useful publication from C-Change (Communication for Change) as part of their Learning Package for Social and Behavior Change Communication, in which other models contain a wealth of information I believe is useful for training in M&E or other subjects.
- Developing a Logic Model: Teaching and Training Guide (2008). Authored by Ellen Taylor-Powell and Ellen Henert, this publication is based on the University of Wisconsin-Extension logic model format, appropriate for beginning-level logic model users, with 17 activities and additional resources.
- Monitoring and Evaluation Training Curriculum (2009). Funded by USAID and developed by John Snow, Inc., this publication provides guidance and facilitation notes for training on four stages in an M&E system: planning, data collection, making data usable and using data for decision-making to help organizations reflect on and strengthen their plans
- Monitoring and Evaluation Training Manual for CBOs and NGOs (undated). Funded by USAID and developed by the International Rescue Committee – Thailand, this manual provides a three day curriculum with guidance and worksheets for training on M&E concepts, skills and knowledge for development.
- Monitoring and Evaluation Training Guide (2002). This publication from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is designed to help facilitate M&E training in the results framework, with exercises, session notes and agendas for conducting training sessions ranging from one and a half hours to two days.
- Culture Matters (2014). Developed by the U.S. Peace Corps, this publication covers the knowledge and skills to work successfully and respectfully in other cultures. It is a great read for anyone training (or working with) people from other cultures. I like the publication version (which I accessed from Smith College in the preceding hyperlink), but you can also visit the Peace Corp’s interactive website for the online, interactive workbook).
- 100 Ways to Energize Groups: Games to Use in workshops, Meetings and the Community (2002). This handy publication in English, French and Spanish from International HIV/AIDS Alliance has a lot of ideas (100 to be exact) that can be adapted for training such as that for M&E.
- org Workshops. Designed for workshops to build awareness and support to address climate change issues, this website offers a useful toolkit; for example, check out its webpage for Facilitation Tips, Games, and Energizers.
- Training Bubble. This website offers energizers, icebreakers, training games and other resources for free or at cost.
- Training Games. Following the “freebies” link from the website of The Thiagi Group, this webpage contains more than 400 ready-to-us training games and activities.
4. E-learning Resources
In Chapter 2 of our book, we discuss training delivery mediums (options), which includes the incredible potential of e-learning for self-directed, distant learning, as well as a blended learning approach with face-to-face training. Below I recommend some of my favorite resources for people interested in exploring e-learning further.
- E-learning Methodologies. A Guide for Designing and Developing E-learning Courses. From the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2011), I highly recommend this clear, practical guide for considering options for and designing e-learning programs.
- E-Learning. A Guidebook of Principles, Procedures and Practices. Written by Som Naidu (2003) for the Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia (CEMCA), while this is getting dated, I found the clear overview of the topic very useful.
- Framework for Monitoring and Evaluating Inclusive Technologies in Social Change Projects. Provided by Social Impact Lab (SIMLab), which seeks to, “help build accessible, responsive and resilient systems using inclusive technologies, helping people and organizations solve both the technological and human obstacles along the way.” This rich online resource includes guidance explaining M&E of inclusive technology, criteria to evaluate inclusive technology, indicator development, and sample resources for the M&E of inclusive technology.
- Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Edited by Terry Anderson and first written in 2004, the second addition of this award winning book is 2008. It covers a range of topics related to online learning, with theoretical background. I especially appreciated the discussion on interaction in online learning in Chapter 2.
- Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Edited by George Veletsianos (2010), showcases international work of research scholars and innovative distance education practitioners who use emerging interactive technologies for teaching and learning at a distance.
- Game changers. Education and Information Technologies. Edited by Dianna Oblinger (2014), as the title implies, this book examines the “knowledge revolution” and the significant changes it is having on the tools and processes that can improve the quality, flexibility, and scalability of post-secondary education.
- Mobile Learning Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training. Edited by Mohamed Ally, although already dated, I found this 2009 book a valuable introduction to mobile learning and its incredible influence on the future of distance education.
- The Online Books Page. From the University of Pennsylvania, this is a great resource for free downloadable resources on a variety for topics; for example, search the subject Education.
- EdITLib. From the nonprofit organization, global U – Learning * Technology Innovation, this website is a digital library dedicated to educational and information technology, with a range of articles, publications, papers and dissertations to search from.
- EduTech Wiki. From the University of Geneva, his website (in English and French) focuses on educational technology, and I particularly liked its webpage (English for me) on the chapter of the Educational Technologies.
5. Adult Learning
An understanding of adult learning is central to designing and delivering effective curriculum and activities for M&E training. There is a wealth of literature on this topic, and it is complex and contentious, largely because adults are complex systems for which no one explanatory model or theory is fully satisfactory. We examine this in Chapter 4 in our book on Adult Learning, presenting what we identify as 14 adult learning principles to inform the application of theory to practice.
Adult Learning Principles for Effective M&E Training
(Chaplowe & Cousins 2016)
1. Establish a safe and respectful climate
2. Respond to the “need to know” (NTK)
3. Provide a structured yet flexible progression
4. Empower with genuine participation
5. Incorporate past experience
6. Keep it relevant & meaningful
7. Provide direct experience (learning by doing)
8. Make it active, fun, and challenging
9. Use mixed/multisensory methods
10. Differentiate instruction
11. Utilize collaborative, peer learning
12. Include practice and repetition
13. Design for primacy and recency
14. Provide feedback & and positive reinforcement
Below I recommend so additional, freely available resources on the topic. But parting from most of the recommended resources on this webpage, I first recommend some books that generally are not available for free online. This is because I found it extremely useful to directly read some of the prominent scholars in the field of adult learning.
Three classics are: The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development (Knowles, Swanson, & Holton, 2012); Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: Theory and Practice (Jarvis, 2004); and Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, (Kolb, 1984). I also found the book by Beard and Wilson (2006), Experiential Learning: A Best Practice Handbook for Educators and Trainers, very useful, with an insightful conceptual framework (diagnostic tool) of different aspects of the overall learning system.
As its title states, the book, Learning in Adulthood. A Comprehensive Guide, provides a thorough treatment on the topic that I found very useful (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). I also highly recommend the book, Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning (Brookfield, 2001). For a more comprehensive coverage of the topic, you can consult the edited eight volumes of The International Encyclopedia of Education (Penelope, Baker, & McGaw, 2010).
Education involves underlying political/power considerations. Back in my university days, one of the most influential books I read on this topic, and which has had a considerable impact on the field of participatory development in general, is Paulo Freire’s landmark book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). I also recommend the more recent book by Frank Youngman (2000), The Political Economy of Adult Education.
A couple books I recommend that discuss power considerations in the practicalities of education design and delivery are Learner-Centered Teaching: Five key Changes to Practice (Weimer, 2002), and like his other books that I have read, I found The Power of Critical Theory: Liberating Adult Learning and Teaching by Stephen Brookfield (2005) extremely insightful.
For readers looking for more concise overviews on adult learning and related topics, there are a variety of user-friendly, online resources to consider. In addition to Wikipedia and WikiBooks, consider the following:
- Classification of Learning Activities – Manual (2006). From the European Commission, this publication provides an overview of the classification for lifelong learning (LLL): formal, non-formal and informal learning.
- Infed. This online encyclopedia for informal education is hosted by the YMCA George Williams College, and has useful, cited summaries on a range of key topics, from theory to practice.
- Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology. This online book by Michael Orey (2001) has a variety of ‘short’ articles by different authors on topics such as Bloom’s taxonomy, learning-centered theories, and experiential learning.
- Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition. I recommend this resource above for training, but it is worth steering readers to Don Clark’s webpage on Learning, which can lead you to another useful overview of the History of Learning & Training.
- Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). Sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the United States Department of Education, readers can access over 1.5 resources on education research and information. (I actually started using this website back in the 90s for research on poverty alleviation, so it includes much more than just educational resources.)
- WikiEducator. This is another online resource with links to various content supporting the planning and development of educational programs, including a community portal.