This paper discusses lessons generated from design and current implementation of a Theory of change, Results-oriented, and Participatory Integrated M&E Strategy focus on national and local stakeholders’ ownership in two Child Labour projects in Ghana and El Salvador (International Labour Organization-International Programme for the Elimination of Child labour –ILO/IPEC) with support from the US Department of Labour (USDOL).
The paper provides an overlook of child labor, IPEC strategies to work on it, a brief description of the projects concerned and a discussion of what we have learned so far from implementing an Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy (IMES) in two IPEC projects in El Salvador and Ghana.
The most relevant lessons covered include that stakeholders’ involvement from the Theory of change design is central to build a common language for implementation and ownership; but in any case “learning by doing” process is needed to have a real appropriation of the IMES by stakeholders (i.e. implementing agencies and local stakeholders).
The IMES provides opportunity to look at project contextual factors and the project “black box”, that will be key to provide qualitative evidence to understand how impacts have been achieved (i.e. impacts identified through the impact quantitative evaluation).
The IMES contextual factors analysis also facilitate the identification of project contribution beyond project outcomes, but in a broader perspective in the project target areas and at national level,
The focus on learning in M&E is still a challenge that has to be addressed. For this, we have the buy-in of the project coordinator and the M&E officer and we are working on it.