Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring: Environmental Funds have many different methods for monitoring their ongoing projects and working with grantees to ensure good tracking of expenses, activities, and outcomes. Most keep a spreadsheet of current projects and update it with regular field visits and grantee reports. The spreadsheet data is then used to complete more formal annual progress reports, scorecard checks, or develop full scale monitoring guidelines.
There are two major outcomes that Environmental Funds want to evaluate over time:
1) How well Environmental Fund grantees are expending the funds to enhance conservation outcomes; and
2) How they are growing their own – and their grantees – institutional capacity to effectively advance conservation outcomes in country.
Conservation Outcomes rely on baseline data and a mix of methodologies that look at threat abatement, GIS data and in some cases actual species population indicators. Conservation organizations around the world are increasingly focused on effective measures for conservation outcomes as discussed in additional resources.
Institutional Capacity: with regard to institutional assessment, some Funds ask grantees to complete self-assessment templates while others evaluate their own programs through grantee surveys. While grantee agreements are covered in Grant Making, some examples of the expected financial and program reporting requirements are covered in this section.
Fund Assessments: Most independent Fund Assessments examine both Institutional Capacity and Conservation Outcomes. Donors like the Global Environment Facility require independent evaluations at mid points and at the conclusion of large projects. Terms of Reference (TORs) and examples of independent fund assessments are included here from the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN).
Additional resources on Monitoring and Evaluation are also available.