Collaborating to Build Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity in Peru
USAID’s evaluation policy and the integration of aid effectiveness principles in our work created an important impetus for USAID/Peru to incorporate Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) capacity building as a specific focus of our assistance. As we increasingly worked directly with local partners, it became clear that they needed to improve their M&E capacity in order to facilitate results-based management and ensure the sustainability of all of USAID’s work. In 2013, USAID/Peru launched a five-year M&E umbrella contract to conduct program evaluations, and build the M&E capacity of our implementing partners. Beyond strengthening the ability of partners to monitor USAID-supported projects, we wanted to increase the M&E capacity of our local partners in such a way that they would be better positioned to manage for results on any activities they continued to implement, long after USAID assistance ended. Our CLA experience is a two-part story. First, to build a cadre of individual M&E professionals, we developed an M&E course based on existing training materials provided by USAID and other donors and sought External Collaboration of other stakeholders to enrich the course. In this stage, our use of CLA was limited. While implementing the course, participants from two regional governments (RGs) requested follow-on assistance to put the course theory into practice in their regions.
Following a USAID CLA seminar in Lima, we decided to more intentionally and actively utilize CLA approaches in our second phase of capacity building. We mapped stakeholders and identified key counterparts in the RGs. Together we planned and formalized an action plan with clear expectations, roles and responsibilities, and key milestones. We systematized the process and adapted and packaged the tools from the course into a practical M&E toolkit, including step-by-step guidance on how to set up and continuously improve M&E systems at an RG. This toolkit is the first of its kind in Peru. Its deployment will help standardize and improve the quality and consistency of M&E practices for RGs, both today and into the future.