Impact Practitioners

Strengthening and measuring M&E capacity in Africa

By 03/05/2024

This brief article by Steven Masvaure and Tebogo E. Fish explores monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strengthening capacities and how their effectiveness is being measured in some African countries. As well as explaining the importance of M&E capacity building, the article talks through some enabling and limiting factors to effective capacity-strengthening. 

M&E capacity consists of three levels: the individual, organisational or institutional, and system or country levels. It is an extremely important process that allows us to meet accountability requirements and improve institutional effectiveness.

There are still significant barriers to effective M&E systems capacity-strengthening in the African context, the main one being limited funding. This is because state institutions in the selected countries depend too much on international donors.

The article highlights that strengthening M&E system capacity is crucial for achieving development goals in Anglophone Africa. The following four key lessons emerge from the study:

Firstly, we need to allocate funding for M&E capacity needs assessments, and tailored capacity development plans.

Secondly, it is important to prioritise strengthening M&E capacity at the individual, institutional and country levels.

Strengthening M&E system capacity also requires developing context-specific approaches that are adaptable, measurable, and sustainable.

Finally, promoting cooperation between state and non-state sectors is necessary for effective M&E capacity development.  

Overall, this article emphasises the importance of M&E capacity building in Africa, and highlights some of the key issues that need to be addressed for effective M&E capacity development.

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.