UNICEF Guidance Note: Adolescent participation in UNICEF monitoring and evaluation

Year of production: 2019

Image is illustrative. Photo by Hannah Nelson from Pexels

While there has been considerable progress in enhancing adolescent participation, it remains limited in monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Yet the benefits of adolescent participation in monitoring and evaluation (APM&E) are widely recognized:

  • Adolescent participation can help M&E efforts gain better, more authentic data on issues relevant to young people, for enhanced decision-making. It can thus bolster the credibility of evidence, and of decisions made based on that evidence.
  • Adolescent participation can foster empowerment, both through the development of specific M&E skills (“evaluative thinking”) and through involvement in a meaningful process with other adolescents and with adults.
  • Adolescents are treated with dignity and can forge intergenerational partnerships that may energize collective change based on evidence.

In practice, some staff in UNICEF and beyond may have limited experience regarding the steps and resources needed to meaningfully engage with adolescents in M&E activities. Others may worry that participation might be exploitative, unsafe or unethical. It is thus the how of participation in M&E that is a key challenge.

This guidance note was created in response to that challenge, to assist UNICEF staff determine what form of APM&E can best add value; how adolescents can be meaning-fully, safely and ethically involved in different contexts; what practical issues should be considered when designing and implementing participatory M&E activities; and what tools and resources can be used to support such a process. The guidance note is inter-active, allowing users to access supporting tools and tip-sheets or navigate within the document easily. It is intended to be a practical resource for UNICEF staff at all levels of the organization but may also be used by UNICEF partners.



The United Nations Children's Fund is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.