An M&E plan’s level of complexity is appropriate for the scale and time frame of the project
The M&E plan should be as simple as possible while meeting the project‘s information needs; the level of complexity of the M&E plan will vary depending on the level of complexity and time frame of the project. Some one-year projects have M&E plans that require extensive data collection and too great a portion of time and resources are spent on M&E. Though no strict rule applies, shorter and less complex projects (including many emergency response projects) should have lighter M&E systems, meaning fewer indicators and less complex and time-consuming methodologies. Conversely, multiyear or multisectoral projects may require more resources dedicated to M&E, including full midterm and final surveys, for example.
For short-term projects or emergency projects, consider using mainly qualitative data to monitor the projects at IR and SO levels, in addition to quantitative activity-level and output-level tracking. Limit or exclude indicators that require household surveys if it will not be feasible to conduct a baseline and final household-level survey during the project’s time frame.
The level of complexity of the indicators for the project also should be appropriate for the complexity of the project. Avoid some complex indicators (e.g., mortality or morbidity rates and anthropometrics) that require large samples or extensive human resources, especially for short-term and emergency projects.