Third Party Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation

Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation

Our Partners

ESDO’s Evidence Unit partners with the best organisations in the humanitarian aid and development industry including CSOs, NGOs, INGOs, IOs, Social Enterprises and companies with social missions.

Through our Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation (MEL) services, we help these partners to better understand the impact their work is having and how to improve the results of their programs for the ultimate benefit of the people and communities they serve.

We deliver third party MEL services across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central America and Asia. 

Third Party Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation

ESDO’s Evidence Unit provides thematically expert MEL services to projects and programs globally. We develop and deliver the full range of monitoring and learning services as part of comprehensive MEL – either embedded in the program or as an external provider. 

For evaluations, we develop and refine theories of change; logframes; participatory evaluation and community feedback mechanisms; data collection; and statistical analysis – all using a variety of evaluation methodologies.

Evaluation Approaches


Impact Evaluations

ESDO provides causal attribution evaluations through our Evidence Unit. We have the capability to deliver impact evaluations tailored to the needs of all projects and programs. If engaged at the program/project design stage, ESDO’s Evaluation Unit can control for variables and contamination, test counterfactuals, use comparison group sampling, and ultimately determine causality and/or contribution.

Results Based Management

The Results Based Management (RBM) approach is sometimes used by different donors as the approach for monitoring and evaluating results. It is principally sponsored by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The RBM approach emphasises the measurement of results instead of inputs/activities/outputs. 

RBM follows a tiered outcomes measurement hierarchy with immediate, intermediate and ultimate outcomes. A standard RBM methodology will have multiple indicators for each outcome level. However, RBM specifically encourages a greater role for qualitative assessments, meaning that attribution and causality can sometimes be more difficult to quantify robustly with RBM.

OECD DAC Criteria

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria are the most widely used MEL criteria. DAC has six evaluation criteria: relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

Evaluative judgements are made based on these six criteria and logframes will usually have a number of evaluation questions to assess under each criteria.

DAC criteria provide a normative framework to determine the merit or worth of an intervention (humanitarian, development, policy, strategy, programme, project or activity). 

Core Humanitarian Standard

The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) is a principles based assessment methodology. The CHS has nine principles (or commitments) under which assessments are to be made.

Each commitment/principle contains a core commitment, quality criterion, Key Actions and Organisational Responsibilities, all of which usually require assessment. 

The CHS is best used when making organisational assessments because it can be very difficult to link and incorporate project or program level outcome assessments into this framework. When using the CHS for project or program assessments, other approaches are sometimes needed to complement CHS, especially when assessing the achievement of objectives.

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