Supporting Breastfeeding Interventions for Faith-Based Organizations

Step 6: Plan for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Download the Measuring & Evaluation Template Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a critical part of any program activity because it tells you if you are doing what you said you would do and if what you are doing is working. It can also tell you why it is (or is not) working.  It is important to develop an M&E plan before beginning any monitoring activities so that there is a clear plan for what questions about the program need to be answered. It will help program staff decide:

  • How they are going to collect data to track indicators,
  • How monitoring data will be analyzed, and
  • How the results of data collection will be distributed both to the donor and internally among staff members for program improvement.


Remember, M&E data alone is not useful until someone puts it to use! An M&E plan will help make sure data is being used efficiently to make programs as effective as possible.

Some planning for M&E should be included in the communication strategy, such as identifying  the indicators that are directly related to the SBCC objectives. The objectives and indicators should be developed based on formative research. Measuring them should tell you whether the key messages and interventions are having the desired effect on the target audience.  A full M&E plan should then be developed as a separate program document.

M&E indicators should include process, output, outcome and impact indicators. The process/input indicators are what was done. The output is who was reached. The outcome is what affect that reach had. And the health impact is the higher-level result of the campaign—how much breastfeeding interventions contributed to improved child health.

In other words, process indicators track how the implementation of the program is progressing. They help to answer the question, “Are activities being implemented as planned?” Some examples of process indicators are:

  • Number of trainings held with health providers.
  • Number of outreach activities conducted at youth-friendly locations.
  • Number of condoms distributed at youth-friendly locations.


Outcome indicators track how successful program activities have been at achieving program goals. They help to answer the question, “Have program activities made a difference?” Some examples of outcome indicators are:

  • Number and percent of youth using condoms during first intercourse.
  • Number and percent of trained health providers offering family planning services to youth.
  • Number and percent of new STI infections among youth.

Table 5 describes these different types of indicators.

Table 5. Types of M&E Indicators

Process Indicators Program Output Indicators Behavioral Outcome Indicators Health Impact Indicators
Measure what was done through the programExample: Number of counseling training workshops held for MCH nurses Measure who was reached through the program activitiesExample: Number of key audience members counseled by MCH nurses What affect that reach had on behaviorsExample: Percentage increase in number of mothers of 0-6 month olds who are exclusively breastfed among populations exposed to the intervention and populations not exposed to it Measure changes in health outcomesExample: Percentage of under-5s found to be malnourished according to a standard measure of malnutrition


Illustrative Example: Plan for M&E
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