Activity MEL Plan Template from Local Works
This template provides a suggested outline, instructions, and expectations for the co-development of an Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) plan between an implementing partner and USAID Mission. While it is designed primarily for the Local Works program, it may be helpful for any USAID activity, especially when working with partners new to USAID.
Given the strong focus on local leadership and learning in Local Works, Missions and partners should keep the following expectations for MEL Plans in mind:
- Be Flexible: Beyond the three required sections of the MEL Plan, Local Works encourages USAID Missions and implementing partners to maximize the flexibility in ADS 201 to determine together what sections of the MEL Plan are most useful and relevant to them. This may include customizing this suggested MEL Plan template or developing a different template altogether.
- Collaborate: The Local Works program encourages the co-development of and revisions to MEL Plans between implementing partners, local stakeholders, activity participants and USAID Missions to the greatest extent possible.
- Start with a Strong Plan: The Local Works program encourages implementing partners to spend time thinking through the details of how they will monitor, evaluate, learn, and adapt throughout the activity, and to include these plans in this document. Investing time in making these plans at the beginning of the activity - and reflecting them in the workplan and budget - will help avoid challenges later on.
- Learn and Adapt: The Local Works program recommends that the MEL Plan be reviewed and revised on an annual basis during activity implementation to determine if all information and indicators are still useful and appropriate in the local context. While it is valuable to maintain consistent indicators over the life of the project to track performance over time, partners can - with COR/AOR approval - change or drop indicators.
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