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Key Tools and Initiatives


The following MEAL Tools and Key Initiatives are intended to provide our partners, prospective donors, and MEAL staff a better understanding of CRS’ approaches, and aim to contribute to MEAL efforts in the global humanitarian and development sector.

human resourcesCRS has developed a compilation of resources designed to improve the quality and outcomes of human resources activities in MEAL, that we refer to as HR4MEAL. Attracting, hiring and managing good MEAL staff—at every level, from field staff to MEAL directors—who are content and fulfilled in their work at CRS. Visit our Careers page.

DPROMEAL DPro is a comprehensive orientation for entry-level Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) specialists and program staff on MEAL throughout the project cycle.

MEAL DPro Guide, PMD Pro, FMD Pro

The MEAL DPro Guide is accompanied by a series of videos and self-led learning modules to help learners deepen their understanding of key MEAL concepts and processes.

MEAL DPro Starter Toolbox

Learners are encouraged to participate in ongoing MEAL DPro courses and to seek MEAL DPro certification upon completion. MEAL DPro is part of the DPro suite, along with Program DPro and FMD Pro.

Program DPro


ICT4MEALICT4MEAL is the utilization of information communication technologies (ICT) for MEAL systems. ICT4MEAL emphasizes collaboration and coordination between MEAL, programs, and ICT4D staff and partners globally, capitalizing on staff and partner experiences and expertise to create strong networks of knowledge and skill sharing. Together we develop and share tools and templates; test and implement new hardware and software; and provide training in person or online to improve CRS staff capacities in digital MEAL.

Visit the page

CRS believes that MEAL systems must be grounded in project design, built by MEAL and program staff with participation from partner organizations and key stakeholders, and updated during implementation as activities progress and information needs evolve. CRS’ SMILER+ is a participatory process that enables teams to develop MEAL systems that are responsive to context and contribute to adaptive program management.


SMILER+ Resources

CRS recognizes that change we seek in our programs is not linear but more dynamic, reflective and responsive. Evaluative Thinking (ET) is defined as critical thinking in the context of M&E motivated by an attitude of inquisitiveness and a belief in the value of evidence.

The evaluative thinking workshop series is designed to promote ET across an organization and, in turn, increase the quality and efficiency of program planning and MEAL work generally.

evaluative thinking

Evaluative Thinking Workshop Series

The evaluative thinking (ET) workshop series is designed to promote ET across an organization and, in turn, increase the quality and efficiency of program planning and MEAL work generally.

Evaluative Thinking is one way CRS brings to life USAID’s Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Framework. Evaluative Thinking facilitates collaboration, learning, adapting and also creates the needed enabling conditions. More information on USAID’s CLA Framework can be found here.

human SensemakerCRS has recognized that the way people tell stories can uncover rich information about their lived experience. This knowledge can be contextualized by identifying patterns, a process which is facilitated by polling data and analyzing it together. Sensemaker is a complexity-aware, narrative-based method that can be used to conduct assessments, monitoring, evaluations, and research studies. In SenseMaker data analysis is based on narratives that respondents share and to which they give additional meaning. It recognizes that personal narratives allow better insights that can help contextualize knowledge.

To learn more about the method and decide if it is a good fit for the purpose, use the links below:

Sensemaker's Website
Sensemaker Publications and Media on