Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 41 Nos. 6

A Learning Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation

Published on 1 November 2010

This article draws on literature from both monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and organisational learning to explore synergies between these two fields in support of organisational performance.

Two insights from the organisational learning literature are that organisations learn through ‘double-loop’ learning: reflecting on experience and using this to question critically underlying assumptions; and that power relations within an organisation will influence what and whose learning is valued and shared. This article identifies four incentives that can help link M&E with organisational learning: the incentive to learn why; the incentive to learn from below; the incentive to learn collaboratively; and the incentive to take risks. Two key elements are required to support these incentives: (1) establishing and promoting an ‘evaluative culture’ within an organisation; and (2) having accountability relationships where value is placed on learning ‘why’, as well as on learning from mistakes, which requires trust.

Related Content

This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 41.6 (2010) A Learning Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation

Cite this publication

Oswald, K. and Taylor, P. (2010) A Learning Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation. IDS Bulletin 41(6): 114-120


Katy Oswald

Research Officer

Peter Taylor


Katy Oswald

Research Officer

Publication details

published by
Oswald, K. and Taylor, P.
Pinto, Y., Haddad, L., Bonbright, D., Lindstrom, J.
IDS Bulletin, volume 41, issue 6


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