One of the great challenges for an organization working at the intersection of science, policy and practice is how to measure the quality and impact of its work. In 2010, SEI set out to develop a systematic approach to monitor and evaluate projects. The result was the custom-designed Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Communication (PMEC) system, which has become integral to project and organizational management at SEI.

PMEC is based on the theory-of-change approach of the International Development Research Centre’s Outcome Mapping methodology, but has been adapted to allow integration with SEI’s communication and budget management systems. PMEC is web-based to allow staff to input data from wherever they are. SEI requires all projects to be tracked in PMEC.

The system encourages staff to think beyond a project’s activities and outputs, and ask what change they want to contribute towards and which people and organizations could be directly influenced by the work. This helps the project team to focus on the foreseen outcomes and be realistic about the influence they can have in the complex realm of sustainable development and environmental policy. It promotes adaptive management of project activities and outputs by monitoring progress towards the desired outcomes. And it provides a systematic way to share lessons learnt across SEI.

Download the fact sheet (PDF, 333kb)