free monitoring and evaluation online course

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Have you ever wanted to develop your own monitoring and evaluation course, but have not got round to it because you didn’t have time or felt too technical? Here is the most simple and cost effective way of developing your own E Learning.

This series of online courses was designed for refugee service provider staff and humanitarian workers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe logic models and their importance to monitoring and evaluation
  • Differentiate between monitoring and evaluation
  • Develop a logical framework (logframe) based on a strong theory of change to design effective programs
  • Choose appropriate data collection methods and when to use them
  • Explain how to prepare for meaningful data analysis and how to conduct data analysis and action planning as part of your regular team meetings

If you are searching for good online monitoring and evaluation(M&E) training courses, look no further than the list below. The courses are free, cover M&E basics, and can be completed within 4 hours or a couple of weeks depending on the depth of knowledge you are looking for. I recommend all new individuals to the M&E profession to complete at least one course from this list. I also recommend all experienced M&E professionals to take any of the courses as a refresher.

1. Monitoring and Evaluation Fundamentals, Measure Evaluation

This mini-course covers the basics of program M&E in the context of population, health, and nutrition programs. It also defines common terms and discusses why M&E is essential for program management. MEASURE Evaluation, the course creator, has a variety of other free training courses and tools for you to choose from. The notable ones include; data quality reviews, gender in M&E, Geographical Information Systems, and Health Management Information Systems.

2. Monitoring Toolkit, Evaluation Toolkit, and CLA Toolkits, USAID Learning Lab

Take your first steps, into the USAID M&E, and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) world by reviewing content in these Toolkits. For example, the Monitoring Toolkit details the place of monitoring in the program cycle; monitoring approaches; monitoring indicators; monitoring data; and analysis, use, and reporting. Better still, the recently created COVID19 page offers tips on how to adapt your MEL to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Evaluating Social Programs, Edx

This course is a powerful gift to all M&E professionals looking to sharpen their skills in impact measurement, credit to the Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT). The course covers the rationale for social impact evaluation, common pitfalls of evaluation designs and why randomization helps, and the key components of a well-designed randomized evaluation. The course lasts six (6) weeks and learners are required to pay a (small) fee if they need a verified certificate.

4. Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for Food Security and Agriculture Programs, FAO eLearning Academy

The courses take a practice-based approach in discussing the basic M&E concepts; choosing what to monitor; M&E indicators; defining indicators; planning for M&E activities during the program’s lifetime. If you don’t want to take the online course, you can download all the course materials.

5. MEAL Dpro: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning

This course is tailored for anyone interested or currently working in the international relief and development sector. The course helps learners to increase their understanding of MEAL, test their new knowledge through case-based scenarios, and enhance their ability to track the progress and impact of their projects. Credit to Humentum, CRS, and Humanitarian Leadership Academy for creating this course.

6. Monitoring and Evaluation Courses, Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL)

The GHeL provides up to 14 M&E courses, each on a specific topic to help you improve your skills in global health M&E. Some of the notable topics include data quality, data use for Program Managers, Economic Evaluation Basics, Gender M&E, Measuring Malaria through Household Surveys, and M&E Frameworks for HIV/AIDS Programs. Learners have the option of combining M&E with other courses in a specific health program area.

7. Monitoring and Evaluation Practices, Disasterready.org

This course targets refugee service provider staff and humanitarian workers. Participants learn how to describe logic models and their importance in M&E; development of logical framework (Logframe) based on a strong theory of change; choose appropriate data collection methods and when to use them; how to conduct data analysis and action planning. The course is provided by the Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Assistance (META) Project.

8. Planning for Monitoring and Evaluation, Philanthropy University

The course covers five modules relevant to everyone involved in project implementation: Introduction to M&E; Linking M&E to Project Design; Indicators & Targets; Data Collection; Roles and Responsibilities. Completion of this online M&E course earns you a Certificate of Achievement through the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley Haas).

9. Designing and Implementing Monitoring & Evaluation Systems, Alison

This course teaches you how to design and implement effective M&E systems. It introduces learners to the basic concepts in designing and implementing M&E systems; how to define program results and results-based management and frameworks; developing and selecting performance indicators; collecting data; and M&E system assessment. This course is published by the Aga Khan Foundation.

10. Theory of Change: A Facilitator Guide (2019).

Although this resource is not written as a training course, its compelling content merits the categorization. Moreover, if you need skills in facilitating the process of developing a theory of change (TOC), simply access the document and try out the steps! The curriculum aligns with the requirements of creating a development hypothesis for a Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) funded by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP). Credit to the authors Laurie Starr/Save the Children.

These are the 10 free online M&E training courses that I have found helpful over the years. Remember to check with your organization, professional M&E Association, or M&E Social networks: these may have free training but limited to staff or registered members.

How will you measure your project’s success? This free online course will help you answer this question by introducing the basics of monitoring and evaluation (M&E). In this course, you will learn how successful projects plan for data collection, management, analysis, and use. As you complete the course assignments, you will create an M&E plan for your own project. Learners who complete this free online M&E course are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement through the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley Haas).

COURSE TOPICS:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation
    Link M&E to your project’s design
  • Module 2: Linking M&E to Project Design
    Define the indicators that you will measure
  • Module 3: Identifying Indicators & Targets
    Choose appropriate data collection methods
  • Module 4: Data Collection
    Create clear, useful data collection tools
  • Module 5: Roles & Responsibilities
    Assign M&E roles and responsibilities

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS M&E COURSE?

This free online course is designed for project implementers: people who work to make sure that projects succeed. This may include project managers, M&E specialists, researchers, or anybody who will collect, manage, analyze, or use data.

You will find this online monitoring and evaluation course most helpful if you have already begun designing a project. If you are still defining the problem that your project will address or deciding on activities, this course will be less helpful. However, we do offer a course that may be helpful for projects still defining their strategic approach: Essentials of Non-Profit Strategy.

You will need a device that allows you to watch videos, access course materials, and upload your assignments.

CERTIFICATION

Learners are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement for this course through the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley Haas). Berkeley Haas is known for its role in defining a new generation of business leaders with a focus on social impact. Ranked #2 among all business school nonprofit programs in the United States (US News & World Report, 2017), Berkeley Haas inspires and empowers innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges through the work of the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI) and the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL).

To earn a Certificate of Achievement for this course, you need to earn more than 50% of possible points on quizzes and assignments to obtain a passing grade. Quizzes are worth 15% of your total score, while assignments are worth 85%.

The University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting initiative. Philanthropy U, Inc. is the concept developer and sponsor of the initiative. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.

Course NameOverview
Data QualityHigh quality data are needed to inform, monitor, and manage HIV/AIDS programs. This course will help participants understand what data quality is, why it is important, and what programs can do to improve it.
Data Use for Program ManagersThe purpose of this course is to promote data use for evidence-based HIV/AIDS program planning and improvement. By the end of this course, learners will understand concepts of data use and approaches to facilitate data use in HIV/AIDS programming.
Economic Evaluation BasicsAfter completing this course, learners will have a more complete understanding of the issues that researchers consider in conducting economic evaluations and the role of economic evaluations in policy and program decision making.
Geographic Approaches to Global HealthThis course will teach learners how to use spatial data to enhance the decision-making process for health program implementation in limited resource settings.
GIS Techniques for M&E of HIV/AIDS and Related ProgramsThis course presents a practical guide for using a geographic information system (GIS) to integrate, visualize, and analyze geographically-referenced data extracted from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and other key data sets to facilitate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of HIV/AIDS and related health programs.  Although appropriate for beginners, this course is a natural continuation of the Geographic Approaches to Global Health course.
M&E Frameworks for HIV/AIDS ProgramsQuality HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs depend on the availability of individuals and organizations with appropriate M&E experience and skills as well as adequate infrastructure and resources. Developing M&E frameworks is an integral step in the development of M&E plans. This course will strengthen the learner’s understanding of how to develop an M&E framework that can be used to organize and implement various components of an M&E system.
M&E FundamentalsMonitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an essential component of any intervention, project, or program. This mini-course covers the basics of program monitoring and evaluation in the context of population, health and nutrition programs. It also defines common terms and discusses why M&E is essential for program management.
M&E Guidelines for Sex Workers, Men who Have Sex with Men, & Transgender Populations-Service Delivery LevelThere is an urgent need to scale up monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of HIV prevention programs serving sex workers (SWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender (TG) populations. Currently, there is limited information on the implementation of services for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection among these populations. A good monitoring and evaluation system can measure the availability of services, guide the implementation of services, and assess their effectiveness. This course will help learners to apply the Operational Guidelines for Monitoring & Evaluation of HIV Programmes for Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, and Transgender People (Vol II) to strengthen HIV service delivery for these populations.
M&E Guidelines for Sex Workers, Men who Have Sex with Men, & Transgender Populations- National LevelThere is an urgent need to scale up monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of HIV prevention programs serving sex workers (SWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender (TG) populations. Currently, there is limited information on the implementation of services for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection among these populations. A good monitoring and evaluation system can measure the availability of services, guide the implementation of services, and assess their effectiveness. This course will help learners to apply the Operational Guidelines for Monitoring & Evaluation of HIV Programmes for Sex Workers, Men who have Sex with Men, and Transgender People (Vol II) to strengthen HIV prevention at the national level for these populations.
Gender M&EThere are many different programs and organizations that address gender inequalities, or gender-related health and development issues.  In many cases, evidence is lacking to assess which programs are effective in reaching their goals and serving the intended populations.  Integrating gender into monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is an important step towards understanding the effectiveness of these programs and health outcomes for women and girls and for men and boys.  This course has been developed for programs managers working on gender-focused programs, gender advisors, and individuals working in gender affairs, ministries of gender, or other government departments focusing on gender who seek to strengthen their understanding of M&E. It is also applicable to M&E officers who seek to tintegrate a gender perspective into their M&E efforts.  Suggested prerequisite If you are new to M&E, the course authors recommend that you take the M&E Fundamentals course for an introduction to basic M&E concepts and definitions.
Suivi et évaluation des programmes de lutte contre le paludismeLe cours fournit un aperçu des concepts fondamentaux sur le suivi et évaluation qui ont trait spécifiquement aux programmes de prévention et de lutte contre le paludisme. Il donne une vue d’ensemble sur les notions de base sur le paludisme, la portée et les fonctions importantes du S & E, et les éléments essentiels des plans de S & E pour les programmes de lutte contre le paludisme. Le cours est destiné exclusivement aux personnels chargés de la lutte antipaludique au niveau national et sous-national, ainsi qu’au personnel chargé de la mise en œuvre et la supervision des programmes de paludisme dans les organisations non gouvernementales et agences de financement.
Monitoring & Evaluation of Malaria ProgramsThis course gives an overview of the fundamental concepts of monitoring and evaluation as they specifically relate to malaria prevention and control programs. It provides an overview of malaria basics, the scope and important functions of M&E and the essential elements of M&E plans for malaria programs.  It is intended for national and subnational malaria personnel, as well as NGO and donor agency personnel responsible for implementing and overseeing malaria programs.