RE: “Here we go again” - A lack of learning in the monitoring and evaluation of agriculture projects | Eval Forward

Thanks so much for this post. On top of what you say, to have significant data, each small farmer should have exact data about their production - considering crop variety, quality and current market prices. Getting this data and the systems needed to collect them is a work in itself, requiring technical capacities, discipline, and tools. To do this properly, we should transform each small farmer or extension worker into a mini data collection and management officer, and more is needed (what about crop diseases, type of soil, the workforce in the family, and weather - just to mention a few?).

The sad part of M&E now is how we impose the burden of (irrelevant) measures on beneficiaries, local actors, and small intermediaries. And to a level, we do not ask ourselves. All this for nothing of a practical impact on change. One day someone should denounce the opportunity cost and the distortion caused by asking for irrelevant metrics just because we need an indicator to put in the log frame.

Also, we are confusing M&E with research. So we have irrelevant M&E for decision-making. And poor attempts at getting data and evidence, which should be done with other means, competencies resources to be useful and credible.