Introduction to monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning

Introduces the principles and approaches of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) that underpin programme planning and implementation.

Course dates

This two half day course is designed to introduce the principles of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL).  It will enable you to understand the core terms, principles and approaches of MEAL that underpin good quality project/programme planning and implementation.

The course uses a "do to learn" approach and includes some self-reflection work on your MEAL skills and your organisation’s current practices.

If you're also looking for practice using a range of MEAL tools, take this course together with Tools and methods for MEAL, or if you already have some experience and want to deepen your skills, try our Planning and practice in MEAL.

Course structure 

Two half days of live interactive online sessions, plus individual and group work and a facilitator coaching session.

Total time commitment over the period of the course is 10 hours:

  • 7 hours over two live online sessions
  • 2 hours to complete online activities
  • 1 hour of optional 'ask the trainer' live session 

Who is it for?

It is suitable for people who are new to or have little experience of monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning practice.

What you will learn

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Explain why MEAL is important and what it is  
  • Define key terms used in MEAL practice  
  • Explain the purpose of different types of tools used in MEAL
  • Explain the purpose and content of MEAL plans
  • Define indicators for MEAL at different levels of a programme plan
  • Describe the different approaches to evaluation and apply some concepts to critically review my organisation’s practice 


This course will be delivered entirely online, through facilitated live sessions (using Zoom) as well as individual and group activities on the Bond learning platform. We work hard to make sure you get the same level of interaction and facilitator support as you would in our training room. You’ll work in breakout rooms, use case studies and co-create documents – all online

1. The what and why of MEAL

  • Why do monitoring and evaluation?
  • Some key terms in MEAL
  • How monitoring and evaluation relate to accountability and learning 
  • The main MEAL approaches 

2. MEAL interest groups and the MEAL cycle

  • MEAL interest groups
  • The MEAL cycle/system
  • Self-reflection on current MEAL strengths and competencies

3. Results chain and introduction to MEAL tools

  • Results chain/logic model
  • Tools for data collection, analysis and communication

4. Indicators and MEAL plans

  • Defining indicators 
  • Intro to MEAL plan format
  • Small group work on case study 

5. Evaluations - what difference are you making? 

  • How to understand what difference your work makes
  • Evaluation approaches, including some key issues to consider
  • Reflection on evaluation practice in your organisation – strengths and challenges
  • Open forum questions and comments 


All live session times refer to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Check the live session start and end time in your timezone here (please ensure you choose the right date when checking timezones).

Pre-course activity: approximately 30 minutes' work required before live session 1

Live session 1: Monday 1st February 2021, 9.30 - 13.00 GMT

Individual task: 30-45 minutes' work required between live session 1 and 2

Live session 2: Wednesday 3rd February, 9.30 - 13.00 GMT

Individual task: 30-45 minutes' work required between live session 2 and live session 3

Live session 3 (1 hour optional 'ask the trainer' session): Thursday 4th February, times to be announced

Booking deadline

Bookings will close at 15:00 GMT the last working day before the course to enable us to email participants the joining instructions ahead of the first live session.

Course prices

Band 1


Band 2

Bond members >£2M annual spend

Band 3

Bond members <£2M annual spend

* 10% off if you book 8 weeks in advance; 5% off 3 or more bookings.

Contact us for special discounts if you're a student or unemployed.


off if you book early*


off multiple bookings*

Event dates

Monday, February 1, 2021 to Thursday, February 4, 2021

23 places available


Photo of trainer Sue Coe

Sue Coe has worked in international development for has worked for more than 30 years in wide-ranging programming, effectiveness and fundraising roles. Sue specialises in equality considerations and social inclusion in development work.

Sue has worked in international development for over 20 years. Now working as an independent consultant she has undertaken a variety of work with a focus on M&E regularly leading evaluations for funders including the World Bank, UN, EU and DFID.