"Filling the learning gap in program implementation using participatory monitoring and evaluation" is motivated by the idea that even though
participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) is widely accepted as a tool to manage development programs to be effective, its application is widely constrained by its high start-up resource requirements in terms of both finance and time. However, this paper argues that after the initial investment is made, the payback from using PM&E is much higher both in terms of grassroots-level learning, empowerment, and capacity building and in terms of higher-level strategic decision making which enhances impact.
This is demonstrated using field-level experience of implementing PM&E in farmer field schools (FFSs) under the Agricultural Services Support Program and Agricultural Sector Development Program–Livestock (ASSP/ASDP-L) program in Zanzibar, Tanzania. After describing the major steps followed in designing and implementing a PM&E for FFSs, the major lessons learned and challenges faced in the process are discussed. The study found out that PM&E has enabled the tracking of technology uptake and reasons behind adoption and nonadoption of technologies through detailed data collection. This informed and improved decision making at a higher level to design feasible methods to scale up adoption at other FFSs and to devise solutions for nonadoption. The need for incentives to undertake PM&E was found to be one of the major challenges of implementation, among others.