Measuring Results & the DCED Standard

‘The quality of monitoring and evaluation is significantly and positively associated with project outcome’ (World Bank, 2016). The DCED Standard is a popular framework for enhancing the quality of monitoring, and ultimately of evaluation. It adds particular value when working in complex, rapidly changing environments.

Over 150 projects in more than 50 countries are currently using the DCED Standard, in sectors ranging from value chain development, to challenge funds, to business environment reform. These are shown in an interactive map which can be accessed here (or click on the image below).

Map of Programmes using DCED Standard

Using the DCED Standard has the following benefits for implementing agencies:

  • The DCED Standard saves time and money, as programmes do not have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ of good practice
  • It supports programmes in thinking through what they plan to do, and what they hope to achieve – and the assumptions on which their logic rests
  • It stresses the use of measured results in management decision making
  • It supports programmes to work in complex environments such as market systems, by encouraging flexibility and continual validation and revision of the programme logic
  • Unlike many other measurement methodologies, the DCED Standard emphasises system- or market-wide impacts.
  • Compliance can bring recognition from donors, recipient governments and others as being seriously engaged in results measurement and quality work, particularly if the results measurement system is subject to a DCED audit.

By encouraging their grantees to use the DCED Standard, and offering the necessary means for them to do so well, donors can enhance the quality of their programmes. SDC has published a guide for staff on where and how to use the Standard framework, available here.

“The DCED Standard for Results Measurement provides an important check on the quality of implementation of our programmes.

“During procurement, the usual procedures do not allow for detailed exploration of the capacities of the proposed implementers; during implementation, we in SDC do not have the staff to follow progress in detail. Encouraging the use of the DCED Standard from the start of a programme is a welcome solution for us.

“It provides a framework of widely-accepted good practice in programme management, so that implementers do not have to reinvent the wheel. And it gives us, as a donor, the option of having an external DCED audit of the monitoring system, to enhance credibility.”

Peter Beez, SDC, 2016

See below, and the other elements in this Section, for more information.