Our Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning system

We support project planning and management processes.  
We facilitate organisational and institutional learning.  
We ensure Rikolto’s downward and upward accountability.

A woman voicing her opinion in a cooperative meeting

Rikolto’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system provides a framework for systematic data collection and documentation to ensure accountability and stimulate learning processes. It satisfies the data and information needs of all stakeholders involved in our programmes.

The beating heart of our Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system are the programme teams. They make sure that all Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) activities are in line with 4 main guiding principles:

  1. Relevant for project management: support planning activities, regular monitoring, strategic reflection, and reporting, while satisfying all accountability needs.
  2. Multifunctionality: engage a diverse range of stakeholders and feed multiple layers of sense-making, learning and decision-making.
  3. Learning-oriented: enable feedback loops with partners, stakeholders, donors and peers, inspire constructive and critical self-reflection, and document lessons learned for organisational and sector-wide growth.
  4. Evidence for impact: collect the impactful data, information and evidence that can inspire scalers and stakeholders to transform their current business models favouring a more sustainable food system.
Transparency is key: we openly share our insights and evaluation results with partner organisations, stakeholders and the public at large

You can explore them in our:

How we measure impact

Every three years, we evaluate whether our interventions have attained the desired results and impact, learn where we missed the mark and adapt our strategy. These impact assessments consist of an intensive process of data collection, interviews and collective sense-making with members of the farmers’ organisations, partners, and other stakeholders. We use the same participatory approach to agree on the next steps of our partnerships.

Our impact assessment framework covers all three levels at which the organisation strives for impact:  

  • Improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers (male/female/youth) and improved access to healthy, sustainable food for consumers (male/female).  
  • Improved business and organisational capacities of targeted agri-food businesses (e.g., farmers organisations, business development service providers, buyer companies, etc.) that connect producers with consumers.
  • Improved institutional environment (public/private policies, regulations, etc.).  

All Rikolto interventions have pathways of change along with relevant outcome indicators that are regularly updated. These indicators form the basis for (half-)yearly strategic reflections within each regional office and with partner organisations, which result in updates of the intervention strategies and target values.  

The current impact framework covers the five-year period of our global 2022-2026 strategy:


Baseline measurement


Mid-term review


End-line assessment

The impact assessment framework has been certified by the Belgian Special Evaluation Service as “well developed” and “sustainable”. Additionally, each region complements this framework with donor-specific impact measurement requirements.

Our programme management toolbox

Complex environments require a mix of methods to capture both the visible changes as well as the emergent dynamics that play under the surfaces. We have developed a toolbox with various tools that support programme staff out of which they pick the most relevant ones for their local context, strategy and goals.

A learning organisation is an organisation skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights

David A. Garvin

The graphic below illustrates the interconnectivity between the tools and cluster them by purpose. The arrows illustrate the connections and data flow from one tool into the other.

Click on the picture to enlarge
Monitorting and evaluation management toolbox

For more information about Rikolto’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system, you can contact our global advisor

Prima Interpares

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

For more information about Rikolto’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system, you can contact our global advisor

James Wumenu

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning