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close this bookBoiling Point No. 38 : Household Energy in High Cold Regions (ITDG - ITDG, 1997, 40 p.)
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Measuring successes and setbacks: How to monitor and evaluate household energy projects

GTZ/HEP and international Technology Development Group (ITDG) with The Foundation for Woodstove e Dissemination (FWD) (1996)

This publication emerged out of a joint project between GTZ, ITDG, FWD, and, originally, the Association de Bois de Feu. It is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of household energy specialists from fifteen countries working together for over four years. The manual has been field tested in twelve projects in Africa, Asia and Central America.

The manual addresses the need for training materials in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of household energy programmes, responding to requests for assistance from project partners. Through the use of the manual, information about why household energy programmes succeed or fail can be obtained. With the manual, the editors hope to equip project staff to use M&E to give beneficiaries a clearer voice in the context of household energy projects.

The manual offers advice and ideas on planning and conducting M&E and suggests methods for carrying out the various tasks. Nevertheless, the authors do not see their handbook as a definite set of guidelines. They caution that the guidelines have to be adapted to each project's objectives and the individual socio-economic, political and technical environment.

The second part of the book shows practical ways of how to carry out M&E in household energy projects. This part is subdivided into three major sections according to the field of intervention;

· M&E for management
· M&E with producers and distributes
· M&E with users

After a short introduction for each section, concentrating on the key questions, a complete list of suggested indicators (i.e. what to measure) is compiled in distinct and comprehensive tables. Further columns present what should be considered and what should be done with the information. The authors emphasise that before developing and using an monitoring and evaluation system, each individual project must first analyse its information needs, i.e. 'who needs which kind of information at what accuracy for what purpose and when?' It is thus obvious that the lists can only provide a framework.

In conclusion, this manual should be very useful for everyone working and participating in household energy measures, i.e. managers, staff users, producers, researchers, partner agencies, and donors. Hopefully, it will lead to a wider acceptance, increased application and improved participation of M&E methods in household energy projects. With the assistance of this publication, important insights on successes, setbacks, and failures of projects can be gained. The manual is based on vast experiences from numerous specialists and projects. However, it will be important to improve and update the manual continuously. Lessons learnt and new experiences need to be incorporated. Feedback is, thus, more than welcome.