Monitoring & Evaluation - Kal Associates CPA

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  • What is Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)?
This section provides a brief introduction to what M&E is, together with a selection of recommended reading and further links to help you get started.

Monitoring the systematic and routine collection of information from projects and programmes for four main purposes:
      • To learn from experiences to improve practices and activities in the future;
      • To have internal and external accountability of the resources used and the results obtained;
      • To take informed decisions on the future of the initiative;
      • To promote empowerment of beneficiaries of the initiative.
Monitoring is a periodically recurring task already beginning in the planning stage of a project or programme. Monitoring allows results, processes and experiences to be documented and used as a basis to steer decision-making and learning processes. Monitoring is checking progress against plans. The data acquired through monitoring is used for evaluation.

Evaluation assessing, as systematically and objectively as possible, a completed project or programme (or a phase of an ongoing project or programme that has been completed). Evaluations appraise data and information that inform strategic decisions, thus improving the project or programme in the future.

Evaluations should help to draw conclusions about five main aspects of the intervention:
      • relevance
      • effectiveness
      • efficiency
      • impact
      • sustainability

Information gathered in relation to these aspects during the monitoring process provides the basis for the evaluative analysis.

    To summarise, M & E can be used for three reasons:

    • steering: steering and adjusting current programmes and projects;
    • learning: learning more about what works and what does not;
    • monitoring: accounting for the resources used in the light of objectives formulated in advance and results achieved.

    'Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of development activities provide government officials, development managers, and civil society with better means for learning from past experience, improving service delivery, planning and allocating resources, and demonstrating results as part of accountability to key stakeholders. Within the development community there is a strong focus on results - this helps explain the growing interest in M&E. (World Bank, 2004, Monitoring & Evaluation, Some tools & approaches)

    'Monitoring means comparing actual progress in activities and results to the objectives formulated in advance. Generally this will give you little more than a broad indication of whether these objectives were achieved.' (War Child, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, 2006).
    KAL Associates Monitoring and Evaluation
    KAL Associates Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Why is monitoring and evaluation important?

    At the programme level, the purpose of monitoring and evaluation is to track implementation and outputs systematically, and measure the effectiveness of programmes. It helps determine exactly when a programme is on track and when changes may be needed. Monitoring and evaluation forms the basis for modification of interventions and assessing the quality of activities being conducted.

    Monitoring and evaluation can be used to demonstrate that programme efforts have had a measurable impact on expected outcomes and have been implemented effectively. It is essential in helping managers, planners, implementers, policy makers, donors and investors acquire the information and understanding they need to make informed decisions about programme operations.

    Monitoring and evaluation helps with identifying the most valuable and efficient use of resources. It is critical for developing objective conclusions regarding the extent to which programmes can be judged a “success”. Monitoring and evaluation together provide the necessary data to guide strategic planning, to design and implement programmes and projects, and to allocate, and re-allocate resources in better ways.

    (Adapted from Gage and Dunn 2009, Frankel and Gage 2007)
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