Policy research projects face a number of challenges: policy processes are complex, involve multiple actors and often feature a significant time-lag between research and what may or may not happen as a result of it. To complicate matters further, the scope and scale of policy research projects are increasingly moving away from single research studies towards multi-component, multi-site and multi-sector endeavours.
These factors mean that developing an overarching monitoring and evaluation framework can be challenging. But it is not impossible.
The guidance note aims to support the first steps in designing and structuring the M&E framework (that is, what aspects or areas of policy research projects to monitor and evaluate, why, when and how).
It builds on an M&E framework for policy research projects developed and tested by the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme of the Overseas Development Institute, and draws on case studies of how it has been used by RAPID and other research teams.