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Guidelines | August 14, 2019

Monitoring and Evaluation Short Cuts

M&E Ethics

This Short Cut illustrates the inherent challenges and often conflicting responsibilities that accompany monitoring and evaluation (M&E) work. Recognizing that there are no standard, or even easy, answers to ethical challenges that arise, M&E and Ethics provides a framework for resolving these challenges by recognizing our responsibilities, highlighting ethical principles, and reflecting on and addressing ethical concerns with stakeholders during the planning phase. On a general level, the domain of ethics deals with moral duty and obligation, involving actions that are subject to being judged as good or bad, right or wrong (Mathison 2005: 131). Various groups of evaluators have developed standards and guidelines that provide guidance to practitioners in preventing or coping with ethical issues. The ethical principles presented here are taken from the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Guiding Principles for Evaluators, regarded as an authoritative source in the M&E arena. By adhering to these principles, program managers further commit themselves to the communities they serve by providing them with a clearer voice, informing smarter programming, and guaranteeing that their programs “do no harm.”