Project Stakeholder Input for Successful Monitoring & Evaluation Systems: A Guatemala Case Study

Bethany Esch, School for International Training


This research paper investigates stakeholder needs with the aim of helping to create a sound and appropriate monitoring and evaluation system that can be successfully operated and maintained by the staff of a Guatemalan development project. The study is built on the premises that monitoring and evaluation are vital in good project design and stakeholder input is necessary in creating monitoring and evaluation systems that are both comprehensive and owned by project stakeholders. The study proposes that stakeholder input should be gathered during the monitoring and evaluation design phase so that a future system can reflect stakeholder interests. Critical information regarding monitoring and evaluation may be best obtained from stakeholders by conducting a multi-level needs assessment.

Through a series of interviews with eighteen stakeholder group representatives, distinct monitoring and evaluation needs are brought to light. In addition to the identification of stakeholder’s needs, data unexpectedly reveals two important monitoring and evaluation deficiencies that exist on a project-wide level. These two critical needs include 1) the need for training and 2) the need for improved communication and cooperation with respect to monitoring and evaluation.

Through the identification and analysis of stakeholder needs, this study succeeds in illustrating the significance of stakeholder input in ensuring the successful operation of a monitoring and evaluation system.