Monitoring & Evaluation And Your COVID-19 Response (Webinar Summary)

April 29, 2020

By Russ Debenport

Kristen Check and Rodney Green, both with Compassion International, recently facilitated Accord members in a discussion on how Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) can adapt in the age of COVID-19 and serve as a powerful tool to better address new realities caused by the pandemic.


Webinar participants completed a series of polling questions to show how they are adjusting their M&E practices to COVID-19 realities. A majority of participants expressed that they have had to adapt their approaches while only a small minority has had to discontinue their M&E efforts. 52% of participants expressed that their M&E workload has increased due to COVID-19.


Several trends are being reported across the Accord Research Alliance from various organizations. These trends include:

  • Organizations are rethinking strategy on multiple levels which fundamentally shifts M&E activity. 
  • Monitoring, as opposed to qualitative evaluation, is taking priority so that information gets to decision-makers in a timely way. 
  • Some M&E has been repurposed to cover new areas, such as epidemiological modeling
  • Shift to phone surveys for data gathering
  • The questions that orgs are asking are changing and thus causing M&E teams to adapt
  • Trying to make data collection and communication happen quicker for better decision making.  


Rebecca Mentzer with HOPE International shared about the increasing importance of listening to current realities and  proactively asking new questions around items they may need to understand moving forward – basically trying to gather information to answer today’s questions and tomorrow’s questions. Dr. Subodh Kumar with Food for the Hungry (FH) shared how they are responding to COVID-19 based on multiple future scenarios, as outlined in this paper by McKinsey & Co.  FH is also actively repurposing M&E staff to produce predictive analysis about the possible future spread of the virus in their field countries. 


Finally, the facilitators reminded participants of M&E fundamentals to keep in mind during the crisis: 

  • Keep surveys short and unambiguous
  • How do we continue M&E practices in ways that are safe for staff
  • Being very careful to only collect the most mission critical data at this time, always asking “Will the data be used for program changes?”
  • Be ready to adapt quickly to incorporate new components or make changes.


To continue learning about M&E best practices, please join the Accord Research Alliance group on LinkedIn here.  You can also find COVID-19 M&E-related tools on the Accord Resource page here.

Categories: COVID19,M&E,Webinars

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