Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) are key components of all humanitarian programmes. Together, they support the WASH programme to achieve its objectives to promote healthy behaviours and prevent illness. One of the key concepts M.1 for MEAL is to guide the programme so that it continues to be appropriate and responsive to the needs and vulnerabilities of the affected population.
Monitoring M.2 systematically and continuously checks that a WASH-hygiene promotion (HP) programme is doing what it intended, identifying necessary changes and guiding revisions in a timely way. In an emergency, the monitoring system needs to be simple, fast and flexible.
Evaluation M.3 can be defined as the systematic and objective examination of humanitarian action to determine the worth or significance of an activity, policy or programme. It is intended to draw lessons to improve policy and practice and to enhance accountability.
Accountability M.4 plays an important role in contributing to the quality of the response, checking that resources are used appropriately and transparently and requiring that responders take responsibility for their work and meet certain standards.
Participatory MEAL M.5 describes the importance of men, women, boys and girls affected by the emergency being able to voice their opinions, providing input for WASH project design and process.
Learning M.6 draws lessons from previous or ongoing interventions that may lead to the adaptation and improvement of future plans, approaches and activities. Research and Evidence M.7 emphasises the need to guide and strengthen evidence-based decision making. Knowledge Management M.8 discusses the need to gather, process and share learning to improve the quality of HP activities.