Monitoring and Evaluation Concepts and Practice

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Reflections on Monitoring and Evaluation[1]

Revisiting M&E

I believe that monitoring and evaluation systems of organizations should be like the mirror of the Queen (Snow White’s adversary). That mirror always presented the truth, no matter what circumstance. As such, it was a device that could release people from their illusions. It was a gadget that could open people’s minds and could enlighten them to seek meaningful changes in their lives.

In the same manner, monitoring and evaluation systems (M&E) have the power to unravel things that organizations need to know about themselves so that they could more freely move towards where they want to go. M&E systems could tell organizations what their strengths are, what weighs them down, and what they can improve on. They are potent management tools that could make organizations become more dynamic and resilient in facing challenges …

How M&E could accomplish these feats is the plot of this paper. But before moving any further, it is important to first lay down definitions and basic concepts about monitoring and evaluation.


Monitoring is the process of gathering, filing, and accessing information that will enable the organization:

1.determine the progress of implementation of a plan; and

2.make timely decisions to ensure that progress is maintained according to targets. What Should Be Monitored?

1. The Delivery of Services to the Target Groups
This includes:
>the timing of the delivery of services,
>the process by which the services are delivered, and >the resources (human, financial, physical) used in delivering the services

1. The Immediate Effects of These Services
Finding out if the outputs generated from delivering the services are according to expectations in terms of quality and quantity.

1. The Utilization of The Services By The Target Groups Finding out if the services are being used by the groups that ought to benefit from them. For example, are the target groups applying what they learned from the training conducted? Are the beneficiaries of the target group implementing the livelihood project that they requested an organization to finance?


Evaluation is the process of collecting and
analyzing information
that will enable the organization

determine what happened to a particular plan

so that organizational performance can be enhanced.

Types of Evaluation

1. Program/Project[2] Evaluation
ex-ante evaluation which is conducted before or at the earliest stage of program implementation to better understand the target groups and determine the conditions that the project would attempt to improve on-going or formative evaluation which is done during the implementation phase to find out if there is a need to redesign the program based on the changing conditions of the target groups and in the external environment of the organization terminal or summative evaluation which is conducted at the end of the program to determine the extent to which the program has achieved its objectives ex-post evaluation which is conducted after the end of the project to ascertain the impact (hopefully beneficial) of the project outputs and the sustainability of such impact.

1. Thematic Evaluation
evaluations that revolve around a specific issue or aspect of the organization (e.g., systems assessment, process evaluation, environmental impact, effect on gender relations, etc.)

1. Organization-Wide Evaluation
more commonly known as organizational diagnosis (also sometimes called as management audit) its primary purpose is to determine the state of health or the level of...
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