MONITORING & EVALUATION SERVICES
We offer Monitoring & Evaluation Services to our Clients. We will therefore attempt to provide further direction on what our monitoring and evaluation services look like and the benefits our client enjoy.
Monitoring is the continuous assessment, collection and analysis of information that aims at providing all stakeholders with detailed information about a project or programme being undertaken. Monitoring has to do with the systematic, routine and progress report collection about the projects and programmes at hand in an organization or firm. It is also seen as a Periodic tracking (which includes daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly, annually) of an on-going activity’s progress by systematically gathering and analyzing data and information.
There is progress monitoring that has to do with routine data collection and analysis in order to establish whether the work at hand is leading towards the project results expected by the management of the project. It is the form of progress monitoring that deals with how the work or project is going which has to do with the progress and thereby measuring the input, process and the output.
Here are some of the types of progress monitoring
In technical monitoring, emphasis is laid on assessing the strategy that can be used in project implementation to establish if the targeted result required was achieved. It also looks into the technical aspects of the project at hand such as the activities to be conducted for arriving at the targeted result.
Every project being executed has the assumption monitoring which has to do with outlining clearly the log frame for the project. This is so because the manner of conducting the monitoring can make or mar the determined project which cannot be controlled by the project. Assumption monitoring involves measuring those factors that are considered as external factor by the project. We therefore make it a point of duty for any one executing any form of project to conduct assumption monitoring as it determines the success or failure of the project.
Impact monitoring talks about continual assessment of the impact of project activities to the target population which indeed impacts the long term effect of the said project because the life span of the project emerges a need for measuring impact change in order to show if the general conditions of the beneficiaries are improving or not improving.
As in the name, financial monitoring simply refers to monitoring project/program expenditure/cost and comparing them with the budgets prepared at the planning stage. The use of funds at the disposal of a program/project is crucial for ensuring there are no excesses or wastages. Financial monitoring is also important for accountability and reporting purposes, as well as for measuring financial efficiency.
Evaluation on the other hand is a systematic, critical and objective examination a completed or ongoing project or programme dealing with the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of activities in the light of specified objectives. The idea in evaluating projects is to prevent errors and mistakes and avoiding future occurrence of such error/ mistakes. Evaluation also underlines and promotes the successful mechanisms for current and future projects.
One of the importances of conducting evaluation is to provide recommendations and lessons to the project managers and implementation teams that have worked on the projects and for the ones that will implement and work on similar projects. Evaluations appraise data and information that inform strategic decisions, thus improving the project or programme in the future.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) can provides government officials, 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.
Monitoring and evaluation has these 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.
According to Monitoring and Evaluation Overview prepared by World Bank in Washington D.C. it identifies the following nine methods/tools for conducting Monitoring and Evaluation.
Performance indicators. These measure inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes and impacts of development interventions. They are used for setting targets and measuring progress towards them.
The logical framework (Log Frame) approach. This identifies objectives and expected causal links and risks along the results chain. It is a vehicle for engaging partners and can help improve programme design.
Theory-based evaluation. Similar to the LogFrame approach, this provides a deeper understanding of the workings of a complex intervention. It helps planning and management by identifying critical success factors.
Formal surveys. These are used to collect standardised information from a sample of people or households. They are useful for understanding actual conditions and changes over time.
Rapid appraisal methods. These are quick, cheap ways of providing decision-makers with views and feedback from beneficiaries and stakeholders. They include interviewing, focus groups and field observation.
Participatory methods. These allow stakeholders to be actively involved in decision-making. They generate a sense of ownership of M&E results and recommendations, and build local capacity.
Public expenditure tracking surveys. These trace the flow of public funds and assess whether resources reach the intended recipients. They can help diagnose service-delivery problems and improve accountability.
Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis. These tools assess whether the cost of an activity is justified by its impact. Cost-benefit measures inputs and outputs in monetary terms, whereas cost-effectiveness looks at outputs in non-monetary terms.
Impact evaluation. This is the systematic identification of the effects of an intervention on households, institutions and the environment, using some of the above methods. It can be used to gauge the effectiveness of activities in reaching the poor.
A clear framework is essential to guide monitoring and evaluation. A framework should explain how the programme is supposed to work by giving out the components of the initiative and steps to follow so as to achieve the desired result.
Monitoring and evaluation frameworks have the following benefits. It:-
- Assist in understanding and analyzing a programme
- Help to develop sound monitoring and evaluation plans and implementation of monitoring and evaluation activities
- Articulate programme goals and measurable short, medium and long-term objectives
- Define relationships among inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts
- Clarify the relationship between programme activities and external factors.
- Demonstrate how activities will lead to desired outcomes and impacts, especially when resources are not available to conduct rigorous impact evaluations.
Types of Monitoring & Evaluation
Performance management enables managers to monitor and evaluate how well employees are performing or monitor and evaluate the progress of a project. Monitoring and evaluation systems are useful tools that let managers know whether employees are deserving of raises, promotions or, in some cases, termination. Managers may use one or a variety of monitoring and evaluation tactics to assess their employees.
Live observation is type of monitoring and evaluation that requires the manager or a consultant to observe an employee carrying out his job duties. It has to do with the manager checking directly what the employee or subordinate is doing about their normal and assigned routine. In a school setting, live observation will play when the school administrator or principal will want to see how effective the teachers are utilizing their time and resources in their disposal to the best interest of the pupils/student. It can also be adopted by a manufacturing company manager who is willing to know how both the factory and administrative staffs are discharging their duties.
A performance appraisal is an evaluation meeting between an employee and his manager, similar to the structure of an interview. According to the Entrepreneur Magazine article released October 2005, “Appraising Employee Performance,” performance appraisals will do the work of feeding the constituted authority with progress of work putting in-mind the performance of each worker. The manager and every staff will discuss key issues that may hinder or improve the performance of each worker as a way to correct lapses and improve workers’ efficiency and that are why performance appraisal should be constructive.
Peer review is a monitoring and evaluation activities that involve employee grading and rating fellow employee as they conduct the monitoring and evaluation themselves. Monitoring and evaluation tools are often used for employees to capture information and prompt them on what factors to look for. For instance, an employee may be asked to rate her peer’s customer relations skills. Managers collect peer reviews and assess them to see how everyone on the team scored.
Using Secret shoppers method of monitoring and evaluation, the company will hire a person may or not disguise who will pretend to be a customer, such person will be told to walk into the shop, store or office to transact with the workers. This is done majorly to know how the employees will relate with the customer and putting into consideration their manner of approach. This is to measure their customer relations.
Self-evaluation is a monitoring and evaluation process where the employee is allowed to measure and gauge his or her performance on a given rating scale. In this sense it helps the employee see the true picture of him or her and proffering ways to improving and mending the lapses that are discovered. This is a way employers give their employee fair chance to analyse their strength and weakness.
Effective Monitoring & Evaluation
For Monitoring and Evaluation system to be effective, it should have:
- Methodology or Processes for collecting and using data
- Purpose/uses of the data collected
- Type of data to be collected (both qualitative and quantitative)
- Frequency of data collection
According to M&E studies, the following key characteristics of an effective Monitoring & Evaluation were identified.
- It measures and reports on outputs that reflect the critical stated strategic objectives of the organization;
- It provides clear indicators against which the organization is working, and being measured; and that within the organization, information for the outputs being measured is available and verifiable.
- A good M&E system identifies the key issues and root of the problems that you want to address
- It must be cost-effective for the operating unit
- It must be result oriented
- The M&E system must itself be monitored and updated regularly
- It must track and effectively support the policy reform process
- Provides a user-friendly means of understanding the current status of the relevant policy
- Provides a rationale for how future performance targets are set
- It must make the decision making at management level easy and efficient
- It must determine the appropriateness of the institutional mechanism undertaken
- An effective M&E System must have ways to report the findings to those who can take action and use the findings for positive change
- It must identify the responsible persons and the finalize the actions agreed
- An effective and very good M&E system will be the one which reports its findings in a positive way and as constructive criticism.
Benefits of Monitoring and Evaluation
For project executors (i.e., a company Community Relations Team, a company/NGO partnership, or a company foundation), M&E can improve management. By monitoring progress against defined goals, a project manager can assess what is working and what is not, and from there can determine what changes should be made to a project. This in turn makes it possible to improve the way things are being done in the project organization.
For companies: It is possible for a company to either establish or support a project as his corporate social responsibility by partnering and providing fund. Monitoring and evaluation can be used to demonstrate progress to internal management and to external stakeholders. It can also help monitor and measure the result both internally and externally to justify whether to continue funding or not. This makes the companies to make sound decisions concerning major projects they are involved and where to invest their resources for a greater yield.
For community members and NGOs: when these bodies or organization conduct monitoring and evaluation, it will give an opportunity to influence the design and execution of community development projects. Also, it will provide feedback on the progress of the project the community or NGO is executing and help them determine whether programs are achieving aims and goal for which it was established or initiated.
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