MEASURE (Monitoring and Evaluation to ASsess and Use REsults) Evaluation is a USAID-funded cooperative agreement that works around the world to help host-country programs address their health and population issues. MEASURE Evaluation is a component of USAID’s MEASURE program operating as a partnership that includes Futures Group International, John Snow, Inc., ICF International, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Management Sciences for Health, and Tulane University. This MEASURE Evaluation partnership provides technical leadership through collaboration at local, national, and global levels to build the sustainable capacity of developing nations to identify data needs, collect and analyze technically sound data, and use that data for health decision-making.
MEASURE Evaluation works closely with USAID, its country missions and counterparts to improve collection, analysis and presentation of data to promote better use of data in planning, policymaking, managing, monitoring, and evaluating population, health, and nutrition programs. The underlying premise is that improving the use of information in health sector decision making will lead to better health services, systems, and outcomes.
The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in demand for high-quality health information through large global health initiatives that emphasize quantitative measures of progress to ensure accountability. These demands stretch weak and overburdened M&E and health information systems (HIS). There is an urgent need to strengthen the performance of HIS and M&E systems at all levels, improve measurement in areas in which measurement methods are weak, increase evidence on the effectiveness of global health programs, and strengthen use of information beyond meeting reporting requirements to inform program decision making.
Monitoring and Evaluation
M&E is the process by which data are collected and analyzed in order to provide information to policy makers and others for use in program planning and project management. Monitoring focuses on the implementation process and progress towards the achievement of program objectives. Evaluation measures how well the program activities have met expected objectives and/or the extent to which changes in outcomes can be attributed to the program. This process should happen throughout the life of a project, not just at the end.
M&E is important because it helps program implementers make informed decisions regarding program operations and service delivery based on objective evidence. It also ensures the most effective and efficient use of resources, helps determine the success or failure of a program, and assists in meeting organizational requirements such as reporting. Most importantly, monitoring and evaluation often convinces donors that their investments have been worthwhile.
MEASURE Evaluation is now in Phase III. Phase I (1998–2003) focused on data analysis and the design of new tools. Phase II (2004–2009) included data demand and utilization (now Data Demand and Use), training and capacity building, collaboration and coordination, and research and development. Phase III has added knowledge management and organization development.
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