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Monitoring and Evaluation


This handbook deals with the basics of setting up and using a monitoring and evaluation system for a project or an organization. It clarifies what monitoring and evaluation are, how you plan to do them, how you design a system that helps you monitor and an evaluation process that brings it all together usefully. It looks at how you collect the information you need and then how you save yourself from drowning in data by analyzing the information in a relatively straightforward way. Finally it raises, and attempts to address, some of the issues to do with taking action on the basis of what you have learned.

Need of Having Handbook on monitoring and evaluation

If you don’t care about how well you are doing or about what impact you are having, why bother to do it at all? Monitoring and evaluation enable you to assess the quality and impact of your work, against your action plans and your strategic plan. In order for monitoring and evaluation to be really valuable, you do need to have planned well. Planning is dealt with in detail in other toolkits on this website.

Application of the Handbook

The Handbook can helpful in following events:
• To set up systems for data collection during the planning phases of a project or organization. • To analyze data collected through the monitoring process. • To know how efficiently and how effectively you are working. • To evaluate what impact the project is having at any stage. In fact, monitoring and evaluation are invaluable internal management tools. If you don’t assess how well you are doing against targets and indicators, you may go on using resources to no useful end, without changing the situation you have identified as a problem at all. Monitoring and evaluation enable you to make that assessment.

Monitoring is the systematic collection and analysis of information as a project progresses. It is aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a project or organization. It is based on targets set and activities planned during the planning phases of work. It helps to keep the work on track, and can let management know when things are going wrong. If done properly, it is an invaluable tool for good management, and it provides a useful base for evaluation. It enables you to determine whether the resources you have available are sufficient and are being well used, whether the capacity you have is sufficient and appropriate, and whether you are doing what you planned to do.

Evaluation is the comparison of actual project impacts against the agreed strategic plans. It looks at what you set out to do, at what you have accomplished, and how you accomplished it. It can be formative (taking place during the life of a project or organization, with the intention of improving the strategy or way of functioning of the project or organization). It can also be summative (drawing learnings from a completed project or an organization that is no longer functioning).

What monitoring and evaluation have in common is that they are geared towards learning from what you are doing and how you are doing it, by focusing on:

• Efficiency
• Effectiveness
• Impact

Efficiency tells you that the input into the work is appropriate in terms of the output. This could be input in terms of money, time, staff, equipment and so on. When you run a project and are concerned about its replicability or about going to scale, then it is very important to get the efficiency element right.

Effectiveness is a measure of the extent to which a development project achieves the specific objectives it set. If, for example, we set out to improve the qualifications of all the high school teachers in a particular area, did we succeed?

Impact tells you whether or not what you did made a difference to the problem situation you were trying to address....
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