The changing context of monitoring and evaluation The international context for M&E is changing, with increasing focus on measuring results and critically analysing aid effectiveness. Several international initiatives and agreements over the past decade have implications for development evaluation: The Millennium Development Goals now form the basis of progress indicators at the national level, and have meant much greater interagency cooperation around data collection.The Monterrey Declaration (2002) acted as the major impulse towards results-based monitoring and evaluation and the promotion of the allocation of aid based on the development of measures of effectiveness and results. The Paris Declaration (2004) committed OECD countries to increasing the country ownership of programmes, encouraging donors to harmonise and align with country monitoring and results frameworks. This commitment was re-affirmed at the Accra High Level Forum for Aid Effectiveness (2008) which highlighted measuring development results. A number of new trends have emerged during this period: From monitoring and evaluating project processes, inputs and outputs to an emphasis on measuring results, outcomes and impact. From monitoring and evaluating projects, to a new emphasis on evaluating the combined effects of aid – in part prompted by the increase in multi-donor programmes and sector-wide approaches. From M&E being predominately donor-led to increased interest in country-led approaches, with evaluations increasingly conducted in partnership with a broader range of stakeholders, including the programmes’ intended beneficiaries. An increased emphasis on attribution issues and a growing commitment to high quality analysis that is capable of demonstrating ‘value for money’. A growing interest in participatory approaches to M&E. A growing focus on measuring less tangible aspects of development such as governance and empowerment, and an increased use of mixed methods to capture complexity. A renewed emphasis on sharing and using the results of evaluations effectively. While there has been tangible progress in recent years, such as a growth in resources committed to M&E and growing independence of evaluation bodies, several challenges remain. Current key issues include the question of how to improve joint working with other donors and how to ensure more coherent follow up and post-evaluation activities.