Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recognizes the critical role of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning, or MEAL, systems in program quality and impact. To respond to stakeholder information needs and inform strategic program design and adaptive management, quality MEAL systems collect reliable and timely data. To optimize their value, CRS believes that MEAL systems must be grounded in project design; built by MEAL and program staff with participation from partner organizations and key stakeholders; and updated during implementation as activities progress and information needs evolve. CRS’ SMILER+ is a participatory process that enables teams to develop MEAL systems that are responsive to context and contribute to adaptive program management.
SMILER stands for Simple Measurement of Indicators for Learning and Evidence‑based Reporting. The 2020 SMILER update has been rebranded SMILER+. The “plus” denotes both the new content included in the guide and the evolution from M&E to MEAL.