Continuously monitoring the impact of RSPO’s work is essential for the development of our standards. It also helps us assess the ways in which our work contributes to our overall vision of transforming markets to make sustainable palm oil ‘the norm’. In order to achieve this, the RSPO Impacts and Evaluation team has strengthened their commitment to developing, implementing, and improving its ‘Monitoring and Evaluation’ (M&E) system.
Our team use a three-level structure for collecting and assessing data. The first level is data that is collected yearly from all certified units, new planting procedures and RSPO’s Annual Communication of Progress (ACOP). The second level focuses on monitoring data from a sample of certified units, while the third level centres around data collection from in-depth independent and commissioned studies. To date, RSPO has collected a large amount of level one data and are making significant progress on level’s two and three. An in-depth, five-year, independent research project; Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil Palm Research or ‘SEnSOR’ has already been established and the first phase is complete.
Why a Monitoring & Evaluation System?
In addition to helping us capture more detailed information of the effectiveness of our work, an efficient M&E system allows us to identify any critical changes within the palm oil supply chain and adapt accordingly. By implementing this we have more ownership and accountability, and can evaluate broader or longer-term results.
The RSPO Monitoring & Evaluation system uses an Impact Monitoring Framework to identify the intended outcome and measure the progress of each activity. This structure ensures that each activity delivers value across all levels of the palm oil supply chain, based on three key elements: environmental, social, and economic benefits (read more on the M&E system documents here).
RSPO has also strengthened and improved its M&E system through the development of a Theory of Change (ToC). The process of developing the ToC is outlined in the diagram below. The ToC provides a guiding framework for the M&E system to provide insight into the effectiveness of strategies and the supporting activities. Based on the ToC, indicators are developed to monitor and evaluate progress from direct outputs, to outcomes and impacts on critical pathways, as well as to develop key evaluation questions. To know more about our Theory of Change, please find out here.
Listen & Learn
Draft RSPO Straw-man Theory of Change (ToC)
Theory of Change (ToC) Workshops
Draft M&E System Components
Facilitate Feedback & Finalisation of M&E System
Debrief & Insights for the Future
If you have questions or comments about the RSPO's Monitoring and Evaluation System, please submit them to Elisa Chong.
Discover more about the RSPO’s impacts in recent years by downloading the Impact Reports below: