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Keywords:

  • Monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • reform;
  • Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP);
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Shifts in thinking and practice concerning aid have posed serious challenges in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for both donors and recipients, but progress in reform remains slow. An important first step in any initiative involving M&E capacity development is the diagnosis of the systems' current status. This article presents a diagnostic checklist that captures issues of M&E policy: indicators, data collection and methodology; organisation; capacity-building; participation of nongovernmental actors; and use. It applies it to a review of the PRSP M&E arrangements of 20 aid-dependent countries in sub-Saharan Africa to demonstrate comparative strengths and weaknesses.