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M&E is not fun!

Wrong. M&E SHOULD (also) fun. Fun is such an important element of any profession. Sad to see that in Monitoring and Evaluation, everything is often dead serious. After all, it’s about the well-being of humans. Right? Wrong. I say that the right dose of fun and jokes can go a long way to do our job, to train, to work with people, and yes, to achieve results.

So what have we got? Well, I can think of M&E cartoons, evaluation Karaoke, and the Octofant.

Fun M&E Cartoons

Let’s start with the King of Cartoons, the illustrious Chris Lysy aka the ‘cartoon guy’ from Freshspectrum. If you don’t know him, you should. He has been drawing insightful, funny, and educational cartoons for 20 years. Here are just two of my favorites:

Cartoon on causality
Cartoon on logical models

Tip: Chris is kind enough to let us use most of his cartoons for free. I confess: I have made ample use of this offer. But yes, I also feel obliged to pay Chris back his kindness. You can do that by supporting him on Patron for as little as 1 USD per month. Or buy his book ‘Evaluation Illustrated’.

Chris Lysy and his book

Evaluation Karaoke

Also fun: Sing along with the ‘Output Outcome Downstream Impact Blues’. This legendary song is written and performed by Terry Smutylo, founder of Outcome Mapping

The infamous Evaluation Octafant

Last, a fun personal experience: A few years ago, our evaluation team for a large UN agency sat together. We discussed which evaluation criteria to use based on the Terms of Reference. We agreed that there were eight.

How the Octafan came to be

It was late in the afternoon, and we felt a little silly. So one of us started to draw ears. Another one legs. And a third one a tail. And voila: we had our Octafant. It became a running joke – and brought the evaluation team together.

The infamous Octafant

That’s all? No, I don’t think so. Drop your favorite M&E joke, cartoon, song, or whatever in the comments below. Cheers 🙂

Do you like our blog? There is more. Check out our free email course on Results Based Management, our self-rating tool on ‘Am I ready to be a great M&E officer’, and our blog with lots of ideas.