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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Development organisations steer towards impact based on a theory of change, and a system of monitoring, evaluation and learning. It‘s essential that civil society partnerships develop the capacity to reflect, learn and adapt to the volatile and complex political and socio-economic environment in which they intend to create change. An important component of such capacity is the adoption of sophisticated monitoring and evaluation systems as part of the day-to-day practice of these organisations. Partos supports its members with training and exchange, through meetings and platforms, to enable professional exchange and joint learning.  


In 2015, the Partos Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group consisting of M&E managers and experts from Partos members conducted a survey among members of Partos to find out which factors negatively influence the use of monitoring data. From this survey, several innovative practice cases emerged.

As the working group members had expected, the survey showed that accountability to donors was still seen as the main goal of monitoring. Steering and adjustment is experienced as ’to a considerable extent a goal of monitoring’. On average, respondents perceived learning from evaluations as ‘occasionally important’ to ‘significantly important’. In the latter finding, it became clear that the learning process is usually implicit without there being a ‘paper trail’ through which lessons learned and knowledge development is documented. For most organisations, the potential to use monitoring results for learning is therefore underutilised.

The survey resulted in a study into best practices which can be found in the publication Towards improved use of monitoring data.

The Impactwijzer

The Impactwijzer is part of the Impact Challenge which aims to increase the impact of charities and make them more visible. The Impactwijzer was developed by Partos and Goede Doelen Nederland in collaboration with Sinzer.

The mission and raison d’etre of charities is to contribute to a better, more sustainable world and to find solutions for social issues. It is ever-important for charities to inform the public about what they’re doing, and how. The Impact Challenge challenges charities to share and inspire each other to increase both the impact and the visibility of the charitable sector.

The Impactwijzer is a practical online manual that uses four steps, or rather a cycle, to formulate a continuous process in which you continue to learn from previous findings. Four key pillars are defined in this cycle: Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation, Learning and Reporting and Culture. On the website we show the methods for getting started per pillar.

In order to ensure that the Impact Indicator is in line with the wishes and possibilities of various organisations, it considers the difference in knowledge and experience level, size and complexity of the organisation. Small organisations have different needs and resources than large organisations in terms of impact-oriented work. Each step in the process of impact, therefore, contains different levels. The first level indicates the basic principles whereas the following levels provide depth.