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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) is the bedrock of effective development and a key capacity of ICL across all our work. ICL works with our clients to design, monitor, evaluate and appraise their projects and initiatives using an evidence based approach to measuring impact. We strive to provide pertinent and insightful evaluations and recommendations to our clients to ensure that their projects continue to benefit the intended recipients in the most effective way possible through delivering meaningful, lasting and targeted outcomes.


ICL designs and implements a variety of MEL related projects for a wide range of clients across multiple sectors, specializing in data collection and management, impact and performance evaluations, organizational learning, baseline and final evaluations, and design of adaptive monitoring systems/frameworks.


ICL's approach to MEL is in line with the OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria of relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability and informed and guided by best practice and learning in the sector. In addition, ICL ensures that evaluations capture, document and communicate lessons learned, ‘success stories’, and best practices. Based on these findings, recommendations are often made to inform scale up or similar future initiatives.



Featured projects:


World Bank Group (WBG) - Covid-19 Business Pulse Surveys (2020 and 2022)

In 2020, Imani the World Bank Group contracted Imani to conduct a nationally representative phone survey amongst 2,000 enterprises (micro-enterprises, SMEs, and MSMEs) to appraise the impacts of COVID-19 on the business landscape and enterprise operations. In 2022, WBG approached Imani to conduct a follow-up survey, providing longitudinal data by re-surveying the same ~2,000 enterprises.

WBG - Firm Graduation Criteria Assessment Survey (2021/22)

The World Bank Group contracted ICL to conduct 500 surveys with non-micro (4+ employees) SMEs in Blantyre and Lilongwe cities. The surveys measured certain capabilities and characteristics of business owners and managers to inform the Bank’s development of firm graduation/evaluation criteria and ultimately inform future support to SMEs in the country. Imani worked collaboratively with the Bank to develop, refine, and translate the questionnaire; access business listings from the National Statistics Office (NSO) and other partners providing services to SMEs to develop a sampling frame; conducted the requisite 500 surveys with business owners and managers; and provided all data management and cleaning.


SunnyMoney (SolarAid) - Light a Village Pilot Programme MEL Support (2021/22)

SunnyMoney carried out a pilot to provide 500 households with solar household systems (SHSs) as part of an initiative to design and test new, innovative business models for the provision of solar technology in rural Malawi. SunnyMoney contracted Imani to design and implement a comprehensive MEL plan including a baseline household survey, ongoing usage data analysis, and endline assessment evidenced by qualitative and quantitative data. Imani also provided an evaluation of SunnyMoney's business model for solar service provision, integrating learnings from the Light a Village assessments.

Johns Hopkins University - Breakthrough Action Malaria Study (2021)

JHU contracted Imani to implement a nationwide, 9,000+ household survey on behavioural health and malaria in Malawi, with Imani being responsible for all personnel, logistics, planning, and data processing for data collection. The largescale survey was implemented by 59 enumerators over a period of 6 weeks of fieldwork, and results were crucial in JHU's support to the Government of Malawi, and particularly the Government's National Malaria Control Programme. 


Ethical Tea Partnership -  Evaluation of the Village Savings Loan Programme (VSL) (2017)

ETP started a VSL programme in Malawi in 2016, creating 83 groups with just over 1500 participants, to allow tea farmers to access credit, enable savings creation, and encourage engagement in non-tea income generating activities. Imani conducted an evaluation to establish the extent to which ETP was successful in delivering on its objectives and capture participant feedback for future programme delivery.

IFAW – Baseline and Needs Assessments for Community Interaction with Wildlife (2016)

Imani conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative (1,300 household surveys) research on the human-wildlife conflict at the boundary of targeted national parks in Malawi and Zambia. Results will inform the development of community livelihoods interventions and anti-poaching initiatives towards combatting wildlife crime.


GIZ/WFP - School Meals Programme: Capturing and Disseminating Learning (2016) 

Following the development of the Best Practices Guide for School Feeding Programmes by Imani for GIZ/WFP, Imani was further commissioned to develop a communication paper on key learning and perspective for Malawian school meals programmes with the aim of showcasing Malawi as a leader in thinking through school meal programmes in a complex and poor economy.



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