A Structured Pathway to Change
IOM is committed to monitoring and evaluating the success of its efforts in governing migration to maximise benefits for all actors involved. Realising success and learning from it, as well as transparently and systematically identifying room for improvement to rectify possible shortcomings, are key steps to ensure the positive impact of IOM’s programmes on the lives of migrants and their host communities. In this manner, IOM’s partners, donors, and most importantly, IOM’s beneficiaries, can expect the most effective approaches in responding to the identified needs.
- The IOM project cycle
- What is Results-based M&E?
Results-based monitoring and evaluation or RbM&E is a systematic approach to tracking results and performance, based on a transparent and reflective logical and results framework approach, and to measure impact through evaluation. Monitoring is an established practice of internal oversight that continuously provides management with an early indication of progress, or lack thereof, in the achievement of results in both operational and financial activities. This serves the dual purpose of increasing effectiveness, organizational learning and informed decision making, as well as ensuring accountability and transparency to all IOM’s stakeholders. Ultimately, the monitoring efforts feed into the overall evaluation, which is the systematic and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results, but can also include analysis of issues that were never identified in reporting, such as relevance issues, sustainability, as well as interviews of stakeholders and beneficiaries. These factors come together as an independent culmination of all reporting activities and an in-depth analysis of the project’s performance.
The Results Matrix
When designing strong and effective interventions, structured monitoring and reporting tools are instrumental in guaranteeing accountability and achieving results. To structure the envisioned projects and highlight the logical interlinkages between the various project elements, the Results Matrix provides guidance.
Structuring the intervention along a clear Results Matrix ensures the smooth and structured pathway to change. Key challenges and lessons learned from IOM’s monitoring and evaluation efforts influence and inform the conceptualisation of IOM’s projects while stimulating constant improvement. IOM’s commitment to RbM&E is mirrored in the Second Edition of its Project Handbook, which provides comprehensive guidelines and standardised tools for project development, implementation and reporting. An integral part of monitoring progress is the assessment of risks. Following IOM’s Risk Management Policy, an internal Risk Assessment Plan is a mandatory element of every project proposal and is further re-assessed during the monitoring activities. Such plan encompasses the identification of risk factors, possible consequences in relation to an anticipated timeline and likelihood, as well as a corresponding mitigation and contingency plan. Throughout the project’s entire duration, the responsible project managers carry out risk-related assessments and evaluations.
Key Elements of the Results Matrix include:
- Every result needs indicators that are specific, measurable, and relevant. Those must focus on what should be measured. Indicators may be structured along three different dimensions. While the output dimension entails services or facilities delivered to the target groups (e.g. # of water points constructed), the outcome dimension encompasses changes in the institutional or behavioural capacities in a targeted sector (e.g. # of people using improved water sources). A last indicator dimension is the impact, which covers long term goals to which the project contributes (e.g. SDG indicators, poverty reduction, and economic development). Corresponding to the nature of the measured project content, the indicators are either quantitative (e.g. # of people trained) or qualitative (e.g. level of satisfaction with justice services).
- Targets represent the desired value and the direction of intended progress an indicator should reach by a defined time. Milestones entail central steps along the way towards the target and help track progress and adapt in underperforming areas (annual on output level).
- Baselines consist of the information gathered at the project’s starting point against which all variation is to be measured.
- Data sources and collection methods must be indicated as to ensure transparency and intersubjective understanding of results, meet the requirements of being reliable, valid, available and relevant.
- Assumptions are external influences on reaching the target.