The Importance of Conducting Baseline Surveys Before a Particular...

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The Importance of Conducting Baseline Surveys Before a Particular Project Has Commenced.

By | April 2012
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THE IMPORTANCE OF CONDUCTING BASELINE SURVEYS BEFORE A PARTICULAR PROJECT HAS COMMENCED.

The Baseline Survey is the first step in the project. A Baseline Survey gathers key information early in a project so that later judgments can be made about the quality and development results achieved of the project. The project’s monitoring and evaluation plan is closely linked to each (objective) level of the log frame and includes indicators of achievement and means of verification. The Baseline Survey is an early element in the monitoring and evaluation plan and uses the log frame structure to systematically assess the circumstances in which the project commences. It provides the basis for subsequent assessment of how efficiently the activity is being implemented and the eventual results achieved.

Subsequent monitoring of project progress also gathers and analyses data using the log frame and will be consistent with, but not repeat, the Baseline Survey. Mid-term reviews, project Completion reports and other evaluations will judge progress largely based on comparisons with the information from the Baseline Survey. A development activity entails change, so a good monitoring and evaluation system will: show whether change is occurring; indicate the results of the activity, including eventual impacts, whether these changes are intended or not intended, direct or indirect, positive or negative, primary or secondary; and suggest how to improve the efficiency of implementation, the extent of the desired results achieved and their sustainability. The first stage in building an evaluation system typically involves design, execution and analysis of the baseline studies in order to establish the frame of reference for subsequent comparisons on which evaluation will be based. Since for these comparative purposes the data to be collected subsequently must be similar to those collected in the baseline studies, the methods of selecting and conducting these baseline studies and...
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