​The primary objective of the Mission’s Monitoring and Evaluation system (M&E) is to reinforce the culture of result-based management and provide the basis for evidence-based decision-making processes, of both strategic and operational nature, at all levels including community institutions. The M&E system is expected to play the role of a social observatory providing continuous feedback to the project management and other stakeholders on the progress and quality of implementation of Mission activities and facilitating strategic and operational decisions, mid-course corrections and adaptations. The system aims at evaluating the ‘net’contribution of the Mission towards rural poverty reduction, livelihoods promotion, empowerment, the quality of life and well-being of the poor. The systems also aim at documenting replicable and scalable pilot interventions, innovations and best practices.  Monitoring and Evaluation of livelihood projects are far more difficult than the standard interventions because of the high degree of heterogeneity in their interventions, multiplicity of stakeholders and the difficulties involved in measuring non-economic and intangible outcomes. 

For a State level Mission to monitor a State with demographic disparities and a system that is institutionally decentralized, it becomes even more difficult to have an integrated and functionally effective M&E system that not only serves the needs of the State Mission Management and District/Block Mission Management but also facilitate the participation of the CBOs in planning and implementation of project activities. Given the scale, diversity and innovative nature of the Mission, a comprehensive M&E system that would function both as a decision support system and as a social observatory is envisaged and implemented for ArSRLM. The system is not only expected to generate evidence based information on the intermediate results, but also captures the critical processes of implementation and evaluate/assess the livelihood outcomes and impact of the Mission vis-a-vis its core objectives.

More specifically, the objectives of the M&E system are to:

  • Provide a periodic measure of inputs, activities and outputs in different project components;
  • Assess the process of implementation (conversion of inputs into outputs) and identify factors critical for that conversion;
  • Verify the project related assumptions particularly in the early stages of the project;
  • Provide an assessment of the pre-project situation in different states;
  • Assess the achievement of the project objectives at different points of time and make the primary stakeholders (the CBOs of the poor) an integral part of the M&E system;
  • Facilitate regular management review and adaptation; and
  • To assess the livelihood outcomes and the impact of the project on different social groups in different states.

The key components of M&E Framework are:

  • Web-enabled State Specific Management Information System (MIS) based input-output monitoring anchored on specially developed ICT platform (eARSRLMs);
  • Process Monitoring;
  • Community Based Organization Self-Monitoring & Learning;
  • Internal Reviews & Learning;
  • Impact Evaluation;
  • Longitudinal Studies/Thematic Studies;and
  • Social Audit.

The components of the system are designed not only to provide information for the Mission units, but also to involve the primary stakeholders, viz. the CBOs in the monitoring and learning process. Thus the system encompasses the key elements of traditional Monitoring & Evaluation, and combines them with participatory monitoring & learning involving the primary stakeholders.​