Monitoring and Evaluation
4.4 (1,245 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
8,100 students enrolled

Monitoring and Evaluation

A mini course in basic concepts of M&E for development and governance programmes, policies and services
4.4 (1,245 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
8,100 students enrolled
Created by Thomas Winderl
Last updated 5/2017
English [Auto]
Price: $49.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 43 mins on-demand video
  • 2 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand what Monitoring and Evaluation is - and what the differences are between these two concepts.
  • Get an overview why this area of work is rapidly changing.
  • Understand what measuring means - and that it is about reducing uncertainty
  • Design or critically review a results chain.
  • Work with quantitative and qualitative data
  • Work with secondary and primary data and be familiar with key tools for collecting data yourself
  • Critically review indicators and design high-quality indicators yourself
  • No prior knowledge is required for this crash course on Monitoring and Evaluation.

This mini course equips you with basic knowledge on Monitoring and Evaluation. 

After this course, you will:

  • know what Monitoring and Evaluation a programme, policy or service is
  • understand the difference between monitoring and evaluating 
  • understand that measuring is about reducing uncertainty
  • know the difference between data, information and knowledge
  • work with a results chain in the context of development and governance programmes, policies or services
  • understand inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact
  • understand the difference between quantitative and qualitative data
  • understand the difference between secondary and primary data
  • know some key tools to collect data yourself
  • know how to design high-quality, effective indicators 

The crash course consists of 20 short, easily digestible lessons with video clips and graphics. It also provides downloadable material with the content of the course as well as suggestions for additional, high quality reading for each chapter.

Who this course is for:
  • Staff members of development organizations (UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations) who want to get quickly familiar with the basics of Monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Professionals who consider a career in Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Students who are interested in Monitoring & Evaluation of development and governance programmes, policies and services
  • M&E professionals who want a quick refresher on basic concepts of Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Evaluators who are area experts but who want an overview of basic concepts of Monitoring and Evaluation
Course content
Expand all 20 lectures 43:11
+ Introduction
3 lectures 04:07

Monitoring and Evaluation is an exciting and growing area in international development and governance.

This introduction lecture puts Monitoring and Evaluation in a broader context and introduces the instructor, Thomas Winderl.

Preview 01:14

This lecture provides three arguments why Monitoring and Evaluation can be useful for government and development programmes, policies and services:

  • understand if planned results were achieved
  • learn how to do things better
  • find out what works and what does not
Why Monitoring and Evaluation?

This lecture briefly describes the course content and how the course works.

About this course
+ What is Monitoring & Evaluation?
5 lectures 07:09

This lecture provides examples of everyday use of the terms 'monitoring' and 'evaluation' and defines Monitoring and Evaluation in the context of government or development programmes, policies or services. 

What is Monitoring & Evaluation?

This video highlights that monitoring and evaluating are related, but very different activities.

What's the difference?

Based on the previous lectures, this video explains in more detail what we mean when we speak of monitoring.

What is monitoring?

This lecture describes in more detail what evaluation is, how they are carried out and why it is different from monitoring.

What are evaluations?

This lecture argues that Monitoring and Evaluation is currently undergoing rapid changes due to three reasons

  • a focus on real results
  • an increasingly complex and fast-changing environment and 
  • accelerating technological changes that are both an opportunity and a threat to Monitoring and Evaluation.
Preview 01:45

This quiz will help you understand if you know what Monitoring and Evaluation is and what the differences are between monitoring and evaluating a programme, policy or service.

Test your knowledge about Monitoring and Evaluation
2 questions
+ How do we measure?
3 lectures 05:17

This section starts with a simple example to illustrate measurements: a cat.

Measure my cat!

This lecture introduces the concept of measurements as a reduction in uncertainty - not necessarily a precise number.

Reducing uncertainty

This lecture argues that a common fallacy is the assumption that certain things cannot be measured. It argues that if you can observe a thing in any way at all, it can also be measured in some way.

You can't measure THAT!

This quiz will help you understand what is meant when we 'measure' the performance of a programme, policy or service.

Test your knowledge about measurements
3 questions
+ What are Results?
3 lectures 09:50

This lecture explores the everyday use of the term 'results' We then turn to the idea of a hierarchical 'chain of results'  - and illustrate it with a practical example how to apply it to our personal lives.

What are results?

This somewhat longer lecture takes an in-depth look at the different levels of the results chain

It should allows students to critically review existing result chains (for example in logical frameworks) and properly define their own result chains with inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact.

Preview 05:38

This lecture provides two typical but simplified examples of a result chain: reducing smoking and a reduction in domestic violence.


This quiz will help you understand what a result is - and what we understand as a result chain.

Test your knowledge about results
3 questions
+ What is data?
3 lectures 09:44

This lecture explains the difference between three terms that are frequently misunderstood: data, information and knowledge.

Data, information and knowledge

This lecture highlights the differences between quantitative (=numbers) and qualitative (=text) data; it argues that both types of data are required and should be combined for more credible evidence.

Preview 02:05

This longer lecture highlights the fundamental differences between secondary data (=data that has already been collected) and primary data (=data that we still need to collect) and its advantages and disadvantages.

It also describes the toolbox available to us to carry out primary data collection.

Secondary and primary data

This quiz will help you understand if you know what data is and how to distinguish between different categories of data.

Test your knowledge about data
5 questions
+ What are indicators?
3 lectures 07:04

The lecture in this final section of the course looks at reasons why we should consider using indicators - and that Monitoring and Evaluation often requires difficult decisions about what not to measure.

Why indicators?

This key lecture explains the six element that - as a minimum requirement - any indicator must include: a description, a baseline, a target, a source, the frequency of data collection and responsibilities.

Elements of an indicator

Based on the previous lecture, this video shows four examples of real-life indicators are discusses their characteristics.

The resources linked to this lecture provide you with more advanced and more detailed reading recommendations.


This quiz will help you understand if you know what indicators are good for and what a properly defined indicator looks like.

These questions are not always easy to answer - but any wrong answer will help you understand better what makes a high-quality indicator ;-).

Test your knowledge about indicators.
4 questions