Monitoring and evaluation: staying on target

24 Jan 2014

Rahabu Mukampenda standing in front of her shop.

“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.” Bill Gates

As a target-driven organisation, we need to know the impact of our investments: what difference have we made to the lives of our clients and their families? In order to find out, we track key indicators across the entire Hand in Hand network. Each month we monitor outputs – people trained, businesses started, jobs created – as well as inputs, such as the number of active self-help groups and amount of micro-credit extended and repaid.

Zacharie distributing MTN products with his motorbike in Rwanda

Zacharie | MTN Product Distribution | Umucyo, Rwanda

Increasingly, however, traditional methods of monitoring and evaluation simply don’t cut it. As aid budgets tighten around the world, institutional donors – who make up just less than half of our funding – are rightly asking not just for results but for evidence that we are efficient and cost effective in the programs they’ve paid for. That’s why we’ve engaged specialist consultant ITAD to help us develop an overall framework that will produce consistent, independently verified evidence of results and impact.

The story so far:

Previous assessments of Hand in Hand programs have produced promising results. In October 2012, an independent analysis of Hand in Hand India’s job creation program carried out by M-CRIL – a specialist microfinance consultancy used by the World Bank, the British and Swiss international development agencies and the Ford Foundation – found that:

  • Jobs supported by Hand in Hand India are long-lasting: more than 97% are sustained three years on from Hand in Hand’s initial support.
  • On average, each woman trained by Hand in Hand ultimately supports 1.65 jobs – employing not just herself but others in her family and community.
  • Two out of the three jobs generated through the program are held by women. Nationally, Indian female labor participation is only 29%

Likewise, a December 2013 review of Hand in Hand East Africa’s job creation efforts commissioned by the Swedish international development agency (Sida) reported:

  • “The program team is dedicated and deserves credit for their substantial achievements.”
  • The program has made “an undisputed contribution in accessing appropriate financial services to poor rural people.”
  • “The implementation by Hand in Hand Eastern Africa as been efficient and constitutes good value for money.”