The purpose of this Guidebook is to establish a set of common principles for the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DM&E) of Mercy Corps projects, programs and Annual Plans. These principles are based on established practices developed by our field personnel, colleague agencies, major donors and professional associations. As such, we are not attempting to establish a new way to do DM&E. Instead, this Guidebook provides Mercy Corps’ diverse programs and worldwide staff with a common approach to DM&E. Using the Guidebook will ensure that all Mercy Corps’ projects are designed using the same key principles and that staff have a common language for discussing issues related to DM&E. At the same time, the Guidebook is designed to preserve program staff’s flexibility and independence to define their own, context-specific goals, objectives, indicators and methods.
Of course, many donors and colleague agencies have their own specialized vocabulary and processes for project design. How will our framework fit with those of our major donors? The answer, we believe, is “Quite easily.” We have chosen our tools and vocabulary based on a thorough review of standard practice in our industry. Rather than simply adapt a system used by one of our major donors, we decided on a simplified format that best fits Mercy Corps’ own needs. And since our format is based on standard practice across our industry, it is easily translatable into a variety of other formats as needed.