Introduction to Monitoring & Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are important to a social enterprise in two ways. First, an M&E system helps an organization drive toward operational success. It helps define clear result indicators and establishes systems that allow you to judge whether your organization is moving toward success in an efficient and sustainable way. Second, successfully leveraging a well-established M&E system should allow you to determine whether you are accomplishing your desired social/health/market impact. In this module, we will offer guidelines and tools for monitoring and evaluating progress toward both social and operational objectives.
If you are funding your social enterprise by working with a donor or social investor, be prepared for them to expect you to demonstrate social and/or market impact, effectiveness, or value for money, and the sustainability of your business. Certain funders look to understand the impact of your project/operations on health, the environment, and the sustainability of your business. These three factors taken together are sometimes referred to as the triple bottom line in the social impact world. However, the most important uses of M&E are for the enterprise itself to see if and how objectives are being met; if and how its strategy is succeeding; and whether operations are having the anticipated impact.