SETTING-UP SYSTEMS

Monitoring? Evaluation? Audit?

Definitions as per the European Commission: 

Monitoring

... is an ongoing analysis of project progress towards achieving planned results with the purpose of improving management decision making. 

Evaluation 

...is an assessment of project efficiency, effectiveness, impact, relevance and sustainability for the purpose of learning and accountability to stakeholders. 

Audit 

...is an assessment of (i) the legality and regularity of project expenditure and income i.e. compliance with laws and regulations and with applicable contractual rules and criteria; (ii) whether project funds have been used efficiently and economically i.e. in accordance with sound financial management;; and (iii) whether project funds have been used effectively i.e. for purposes intended. 

 

Martina´s coach is regularly checking her time after each round, her health and so on (monitoring). At championships, her performance is evaluated by using time as the single evaluation criteria  (evaluation). After each race, Martina is goes through a drug test (a proximity to audit). 
Портрет "начинающего студента" у меня нарисовался после работы с десятками тысяч писем и вопросов от студентов и пользователей сайта, поэтому взялась его "рисовать" я со знанием дела. Итак, начинающий классический! Портрет "начинающего студента" у меня нарисовался после работы с десятками тысяч писем и вопросов от студентов и пользователей сайта, поэтому взялась его "рисовать" я со знанием дела.
Портрет "начинающего студента" у меня нарисовался после работы с десятками тысяч писем и вопросов от студентов и пользователей сайта, поэтому взялась его "рисовать" я со знанием дела. Итак, начинающий классический! Портрет "начинающего студента" у меня нарисовался после работы с десятками тысяч писем и вопросов от студентов и пользователей сайта, поэтому взялась его "рисовать" я со знанием дела.

Why to plan?

  • To understand the context, problems, stakeholders 
  • To have a strategy, check underlying assumptions and get ready for mitigating risks 
  • To get a buy-in by stakeholders….and probably funds

How to plan?

  • Conduct a situational analysis (context, problems, stakeholders) 
  • Decide what positive change you would aim to contribute and decide a strategy – what activities and outputs would lead to desired results and objectives. This is your “theory of change” or project logical framework.

How to set indicators?

To check progress, use both quantitative and qualitative indicators. 

Quantitative Indicators are often checked if they are SMARTER:

  • Specific / Simple (to understand, collect) 
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable/Available at acceptable costs 
  • Relevant to project / stakeholders 
  • Time-bound 
  • Evaluable/Engaging 
  • Reevaluate/Recordable 

Example: Min. 30 % of participants initiate a project aiming to address a local issue

You can compare the data using trends (increase), thresholds (min. 30%) or targets (strategy by 12/Y1). 

For qualitative indicators, it is sometimes recommended to use the SPICED tool . 

  • Subjective 
  • Participatory 
  • Interpreted and communicable 
  • Cross-checked and compared 
  • Empowering 
  • Diverse / disaggregated (by gender) 

Example: Reasons why participants have (not) implemented a project to address a local issue 

Even at a later stage, you would be checking, if the project logical framework is still valid. For the purpose of monitoring and evaluation, you may also need to revise project logical framework to “fit” the reality (for example, due to the change in government strategy, you started focusing on pre-school rather than primary education). 

Why to monitor?

  • Timely identification of successes and problems during project implementation 
  • Informed and timely decision making by project managers to support implementation 
  • Accountability for the resources used and results achieved 
  • Stakeholder awareness and participation 
  • The evaluation of project achievements and audit of activities and finances

How to monitor?

  • Clarify what to monitor (for example activity indicators such as number of participants or effectiveness or sustainability) and for whom (who needs what information) Use logical framework (project application or plan) 
  • Prepare Monitoring Plans (they are usually split by a time period / project partner and show trends over time), building on existing systems 
  • Develop adequate sources of verification 
  • Collect data 
  • Make decisions upon the above (otherwise why to spend time monitoring?)

For monitoring plans, checklists and other details, check for example the EC Project and Programme Cycle Management Guidance.

Where to learn more?

    The Road to Results, a planning, monitoring and evaluation "Bible" by Linda Imas and Ray Rist at the World Bank web here
    UNDP Handbook on planning, monitoring and evaluating for development results is available for free at the UNDP website here
    SEWA Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Manual for village organizers is here.
     

Would you like a Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Manual for your organization? 

Let me know! 

     
do you need help?

Image description

This web is for implementers of social, educational, awareness raising or international development projects. 

Let's explore together how to plan projects, monitor them to make informed decisions, engage meaningfully diverse people... and conduct evaluations that matter - that are used to improve people's lives and sustain our environment. 

Feel free to contact me to share your experiences or ask for help. I am eager to hear your stories!

Image description

Inka Bartošová (Píbilová )

Phone +420-732-437-070
Address Prague, Czech Republic
Skype inka.pibilova
Email inka@evaluace.com