The following resources are recommended to support the planning, delivery and evaluation of M&E and related training and learning. The separate webpage on this website, M&E Resources, is a “companion” listing of recommended resources that can be adapted for self-directed, facilitated or blended M&E training and learning. For the most part, recommended resources are limited to those that can be freely accessed online. Hyperlinks will be periodically check and updated, but if one is no longer working, an online search using the resource title should lead you to it. Feel free to contact me if you come across an oversight or have additional resources you would like to bring to my attention.

M&E Training: A Systematic Approach

Firstly, I would be amiss not to call-out the book I published in 2016 with Brad Cousins, M&E Training: A Systematic Approach. This comprehensive, 439-page book fills a gap in the literature, providing a systematic approach to (M&E) training for programs and projects. It bridges theoretical concepts with practical, hands-on guidance for successful M&E training. The book is organized into three parts which progressively build upon each other, ending with 99 practical example activities that can be adapted to different M&E training contexts. You can read more about the book on this website, as well as the website of Sage Publications. While the book is for purchase, two sample chapters are freely available on the Sage website: Chapter 1 – M&E Training that Makes a Difference, and Chapter 5 – What makes a good M&E Trainer?. Also, key resources from the book are available on the Blog webpage of this website, and are referenced and hyperlinked for relevant topics below.

Websites for Training & Learning (in general)

The following websites are not specific to M&E training, but are recommended resources for training and organizational development.

Planning M&E Training and Learning

While most of the following publications are not specifically on planning M&E training, (reflecting the gap in the literature our book seeks to fill), they provide a useful overview for planning training that can be adapted according to M&E context and need. Some of the resources provide an overview of planning the whole training process, whereas others are more specific to training design and development.

Delivering M&E Training

As with the other sections on this webpage, most of the resources on training facilitation are not specific to M&E training. Nevertheless, the resources recommended here provide a useful overview of good practices for facilitating M&E training. Also, don’t forget to check out the on this website for some additional resources and practical example activities for facilitating M&E training.

Evaluating M&E Training and Learning

Those providing M&E training will likely have some experience in evaluation already, and their favorite resources to support evaluation. The following resources are more specifically on evaluating training, which can be adapted to M&E training contexts.

  • A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions (2009). This useful guide provides 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model. Probably the most widely adapted framework for training evaluation, this link from the website of Don Clark (recommended above, Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition), provides a good introduction, with hyperlinked references for further information. Also, note that the Evaluating Training in WHO and the Training Evaluation Field Guide from USOPM, both recommended in this section, illustrate the application of the Kirkpatrick’s framework. As discussed in our book, there are other approaches out there, but Kirkpatrick’s has stood the test of time because it is intuitive and flexible to different training contexts. 
  • 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). A good one to start with that is adaptable for M&E training is the overview guide of the same name as the series. 
  • Training Evaluation Field Guide Demonstrating the Value of Training at Every Level (2011). Published by the he U.S. Office of Personnel Management (USOPM) to support agency training representatives in evaluating the effectiveness of their training programs and in demonstrating training value to stakeholders and decision makers, this guide is an example of the application of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation.

E-learning Resources for M&E Training

Learning through online outlets has revolutionized training delivery mediums (options) for both live (synchronous) and self-directed (asynchronous) distant learning, as well as a blended learning that combines face-to-face training with online learning. Below are some recommended resources for developing, delivering and evaluating e-learning for M&E.

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.

Further below I recommend some 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. Firstly, I recommend Chapter 4 on Adult Learning in our book, Monitoring and Evaluation Training: A Systematic Approach (Chaplowe & Cousins, 2016); this provides a concise overview of the subject as it related to M&E training, covering key concepts and practice, and concluding with a list of adult learning principles for M&E (see link to this list below).

Three classics on adult learning 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 recommend the book by Beard and Wilson (2006), Experiential Learning: A Best Practice Handbook for Educators and Trainers, with an insightful conceptual framework (diagnostic tool) of different aspects of the overall learning system.

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 Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). I also recommend the more recent book by Frank Youngman (2000), The Political Economy of Adult Education. A couple related 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:

  • Adult Learning Principles for Effective M&E Training(2016). This blog summarizes draws from the book Monitoring & Evaluation Training: A Systematic Approach (Chaplowe & Cousins 2016) to summarize 14 key adult learning principles for M&E training, and brief tips to put them to practice
  • Classification of Learning Activities – Manual(2016). Initially from UNESCO, this publication has been updated and is now available from Eurostat. It provides an useful overview of the classification for lifelong learning (LLL) – formal, non-formal and informal learning – to support European Union data collection on adult learning. 
  • Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance JuxtapositionRecommend above for training in general, the webpage on Learning and the link there to the History of Learning & Training, provides a rich introduction to adult learning. 
  • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). Sponsored by the United States Department of Education, readers can access over 1.5 resources on education research and information. 
  • Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology (2001). This online book by Michael Orey has a variety of ‘short’ articles by different authors on topics such as Bloom’s taxonomy, learning-centered theories, and experiential learning. 
  • Infed. Hosted by the YMCA George Williams College, this online encyclopedia for informal education has useful, cited summaries on a range of key topics, from theory to practice. 
  • WikiEducator. This online resource has links to various content supporting the planning and development of educational programs, including a community portal.

Open Educational Resources

I include this last category of resources because it encompasses a host of resources that can support M&E learning and practice. OER offers 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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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) from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and UNESCO is a valuable introduction to the topic. 
  • The Online Books PageFrom the University of Pennsylvania, this is a great resource for free downloadable resources on a variety for topics; for example, search the subject Adult Education.
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