Community-Driven Development (CDD), in the World Bank parlance, refers to an approach where communities have direct control over key project decisions as well as management of investment funds. The CDD approach treats poor people as assets and partners in the development process, building on their institutions and resources. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the CDD context can potentially be much more than an input-output-outcome monitoring and a reporting mechanism. This guidebook (a World Bank co-publication) is all about improving the implementation of CDD projects using M&E as a management tool. It is built on the contention that a 'learning-based' M&E system, which involves different project management levels and other stakeholders in a continuous process of 'learning', can help the project management make course corrections, guiding project strategy on an ongoing basis, ultimately leading to better project outcomes.
Ashis Mondal is an expert in community demand-driven initiatives and the founder of Action for Social Advancement in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Soma Dutta is a rural development consultant who advises NGOs on research and documentation, strategic planning, and fundraising.